Friday, November 13 was International World Kindness Day. It is a day that encourages individuals to overlook boundaries, race and religion. According to modern psychology, selfless acts increase our own happiness in a profound way. The recognition of this day encourages people to be kind to each other and spread happiness, joy and peace through kindness.
World Kindness Day was introduced in 1998 by the World Kindness Movement (WKM). The idea behind the World Kindness Movement crystallized at a conference in Tokyo in 1997 when the Small Kindness Movement of Japan brought together like-minded kindness movements from around the world. The mission of the WKM is to inspire individuals towards greater kindness and to connect nations to create a kinder world.
There are many ways to celebrate this unique day. Some of the more common ones include random acts of kindness like smiling at strangers or giving up your seat in public transport to someone in need. Buying somebody coffee or volunteering at a local soup kitchen are definitely great gestures that reiterate our faith in humanity. A simple act of leaving a kind note for someone goes a long way in fostering stronger relationships, both at home and work.
Make sure to extend the true meaning of kindness way beyond the human realm. Be kind to animals by cuddling them often or cooing sweet nothings into their ears. Thoughtful gestures towards the environment are not only vital, but will preserve life for coming generations. Plant trees if you are looking for a fun and fulfilling excursion. Turn off unwanted taps, light bulbs and motor engines. Recycle waste and share your knowledge about climate change with others. Most importantly, if you have kids, teach them the value of kindness. They are the future of our nation in general and planet at large. It is not a secret that children emulate elders and seek out role models. Hence, the best way to inculcate kindness in their hearts is by practicing such behaviour in our own lives consistently. The world will be a morally and economically rich place to live if each person inhabiting it were to become magnanimous and kind hearted.
Vinita Kinra is a Toronto-based author, editor, speaker and activist, best known for her short story collection, Pavitra in Paris, launched to critical acclaim in 2013. She is also a contributor for India’s largest English daily, The Times of India.