Much like most people, I love being kind. To myself, to friends and even to strangers. Nothing beats that warm, fuzzy good feeling of knowing you’ve helped to change someone’s day for the better. That’s why I love World Kindness Day! And, if you want to get involved, I’ve got all the info you need.
What’s World Kindness Day, anyway?
It’s as simple as it sounds. A whole day, celebrated across the world, dedicated just to being kind. On 13th November every year, the planet unites in a day to spread joy, love and happiness. It was introduced by the World Kindness Movement (yep, that’s a real thing!) in 1998, and since then, loads of countries have got involved. From Canada to Japan, Nigeria to India; there’s caring spread internationally on World Kindness Day.
It was founded to try and highlight good deeds in our communities, and to focus on the positive power of kindness that holds us together. Spanning across everyone, regardless of race, religion, gender, politics or country, we can all appreciate a kind gesture or a friendly smile. World Kindness Day helps us spread this positivity and reminds us all what it feels like to be nice.
What do these countries do?
There’s a lot of different activities that countries do to commemorate World Kindness Day, such as Australia’s Big Hug, where the nation encouraged everyone to freely go to Bondi Beach to share kindness hugs. Or, take Orly Wahba of the USA, who organised a global flash-mob that was held in 15 countries and 33 cities. It even made the big screens in New York City! In Singapore, the first year of celebration was 2009, and they handed out hundreds of yellow flowers in significance of happiness and generosity.
In the UK, we celebrate a National Kindness Day as well as World Kindness Day, meaning we get double the love and affection. The UK has seen 10,000 free chocolate bars handed out in London, a text wave of positivity and, in Scotland, a Kind Kid Awards event was held to celebrate the younger generation too.
Sounds awesome. How do I get involved?
Ooh, you’re eager! I love it. Well, it’s easy to get yourself all caught up in the action. Whether you’re looking to do something official and organised or you’re just wanting to do something nice for someone you care about, there’s plenty of activities and events going on.
One thing you could do that’s simple to get involved with is sending Kindness Cards. These are popular and have become an ongoing trend, especially in the UK. You might have some experience with them yourself, but if you don’t, this is what they’re all about. They start as a card or object, passed on to someone to recognise an act of kindness. The card gives a bit of info and features a request that someone ‘pay it forward’. An example might be if you find a new book on your train with a note on it, telling you the book is free to whoever wants it, but asking you to reciprocate a similar act to pass on the chain of kindness.
They’re a great way not only to recycle old belongings, but to give someone a happy little smile to start or end their day. You don’t even need to attach a gift! Pop a card with a motivational or cheerful message down in your staff kitchen and see who gets joy from it. Why not include a hashtag or your Twitter name, so you know if anyone found it?
If that’s not your thing, that’s okay. There’s plenty more things to try out. Some companies will organise events in the workplace, so find out if your employer is doing something you could get involved with, and if they’re not, try and organise something yourself. Or, for a smaller gesture, check out our list below. There’s a bunch of ideas on the Random Acts of Kindness website, too.
Small, random acts of kindness
- Compliment a stranger’s outfit or hairstyle, or even just smile at them in passing.
- Pay for the person behind you in the queue at your breakfast spot or coffee shop.
- Write a fun, inspiring note to leave on a friend’s desk or in a public space.
- Donate to a charity, maybe one that means a lot to you or that you think does great work.
- Look after yourself with some pamper time or doing something you love. Remember, self-care is still kindness.
Now, go, Kindness Warriors! Go and release the joy and happiness you’ve got into the world. Maybe, just maybe, we can make sure everyone feels loved this November.