World Kindness Day was introduced in 1998 by the World Kindness Movement. The organisation was formed at a Tokyo conference in 1997, when Japan brought together kindness organisations from multiple nations and emphasized the necessity of a global kindness movement. Hence the World Kindness Movement launched in Singapore in November 2000, with over 28 countries currently participating. Their mission is to inspire individuals towards greater kindness and to connect nations to create a kinder world.
On World Kindness Day we are all encouraged to make an extra effort to be kind to others as well as celebrating the good deeds others already do. By demonstrating an act of kindness, we can all unite with others dedicated to changing the world, one kind act at a time.
In these days of dealing with COVID-19, it is more important than ever that we all show kindness to each other. You can make someone’s day with an act of kindness, however simple the gesture may be. Below are just a few ideas:
- Smile when you walk by others
- Write positive messages on post-it notes and leave them for people to find
- Call a relative you haven’t spoken to in a while
- Tidy up around your house
- Pick up any litter you see on the ground outside
- Hold the door open for someone
- Chat with a stranger and ask them about their day
- Pay for a stranger’s coffee or meal
- Compliment someone
- Send a positive or encouraging text to five people in your contacts
- Surprise someone with flowers
- Tell a family member or friend you love them
- Offer to help with someone’s errands
- Send a kind care package or note to a friend
- Surprise work colleagues with a home-baked cake
- Plant a tree
- Volunteer for a charity
- Give someone a hug
It is also important to recognise that being kind to others, as well as ourselves, can have a positive effect on our psychological wellbeing. Studies have indicated the benefits of kindness can increase positive biochemical responses in those showing kindness and those who are receiving it. Being kind causes an increase in oxytocin along with a dopamine rush, both of which lead to increased feelings of happiness. Kindness has also been shown to increase self-esteem, empathy and compassion, and decrease blood pressure and cortisol – a stress hormone, which directly impacts stress levels. People who demonstrate kindness also tend to be healthier and live longer.
“In a world where you can be anything – be kind”