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World Kindness Day

November 13th is World Kindness Day, a day to lend a helping hand. We share some ideas for ways to demonstrate kindness in your community.

World Kindness Day, celebrated on November 13th, is a day to proclaim and manifest kindness through generous acts, big and small, the world over.

Why World Kindness?

While the concept may seem frivolous to some, the fact is kindness towards another lifts up two people: the recipient and you. Studies have shown that a caring and compassionate gesture benefits the giver physically, releasing endorphins in the brain the way exercise, chocolate, and being in love do. And if you make a practice of extending yourself, in addition to making a difference in others’ lives, the results can impact your overall health: a reduction in stress, strengthened immune system, a lower incidence of heart disease and diabetes, and more.

What Can You Do?

  1. Look around. If something needs to be done for another, do it. Empty a waste basket; water a plant; wash the dishes in the sink at work or your mother’s windows. If a shopping cart has rolled to the back of a car–something the driver may not see when backing out–stop and move it away, and preferably back inside. If someone you know normally takes three buses to get home and you have a car, offer a ride–as often as possible.
  2. Look up–in a positive sense. If someone you know, or maybe you don’t know but have heard about, is alone, perhaps without resources and facing a seemingly insurmountable task, dive in to help and be optimistic about it, asking for additional assistance from others if necessary until the job gets done.
  3. Look down. While the goal of World Kindness Day is to connect and inspire nations, exactly who lives in your community? Or maybe in the next town? Is there an international population? If you’re not readily familiar with issues of local or regional diversity, bury your head in the newspaper for a few days and/or search the archives online. Who needs your help? What issues define people who may not have been born there the way you were? How can your talents, abilities, and experience make a difference in their lives on World Kindness Day?
  4. Look away–and not in the sense that you turn a blind eye to someone or something that needs you. Look into the future and try to imagine how what you do for someone today can impact them, you, and others for days, weeks, months, even years to come. While this may seem a grandiose concept to some, the fact is extending yourself often inspires the recipient to, as the movie of the same name says, “pay it forward,” with the end result unimaginable–possibly because the gesture never ends.

While these ideas may not be exactly new or novel, for some of us taking action and executing them is.

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