This November 13 was World Kindness Day, a global holiday dedicated to promoting and celebrating the importance of being kind to yourself, others, and the world around you. During school days, children are taught about World Kindness Day and the importance of being kind to others, while hashtags across Twitter and Facebook and other social media sites encouraged readers and guests to be kind to others and foster a better future through their actions, some posts containing suggestions for different acts of kindness, others containing individual stories of their own acts of kindness, or more importantly, acts of kindness that changed a person’s life.
Sometimes, it feels easier to be cruel than it does to be kind, but it’s important to remember that being kind to others is an important part of being human. Humans are a social species meant to form strong bonds with each other and guide each other through life, and most will find that being cruel to their fellow peers leaves them feeling emptier than they would feel by being nice. Events like World Kindness Day are dedicated to encouraging people across the globe to try and understand, help, and communicate with each other instead of fostering hatred and cruelty in a world that could do so much better. Not only is being kind a very human action, but it is also good for human brains on a chemical level. Being kind to and connecting with others boosts important neurotransmitters like serotonin and dopamine, which tell your brain to provide you with feelings of satisfaction and well-being. Pleasure centers of the brain can be activated and your brain can even release endorphins, a natural pain-killer. So if you’re depressed or feeling particularly down, a little act of kindness can help improve your own mood and mental health, not to mention the mood of the target of your kindness. Don’t forget, kindness isn’t limited to doing favors for others. It’s being kind to yourself when you’re struggling, or cleaning up outside and being kind to the environment and the Earth you live on, and being kind to animals and other creatures that share the world around you. Kindness is an unlimited resource and something you can always share with others if you’re willing to do so. While Kindness Day encourages acts of kindness every November 13th, by no means are you limited to one day, and if you work hard, every day can be Kindness Day, or at least maintain the spirit of what the day intends.
The 23-year-old holiday itself has an interesting history. It was forged by people devoted to improving the world around them. World Kindness Day was first conceptualized on September 7, 1997, during a conference in Tokyo, Japan. This conference was organized as a means to bring together the efforts of many different worldwide nations’ independent organizations devoted to kindness and peace. These small, non-governmental organizations combined became the World Kindness Movement, united by their shared goal of promoting kindness and understanding throughout their home countries. Once it had been established, the World Kindness Movement sought to build a kinder and more compassionate world, starting with the establishment of World Kindness Day. Since it was first celebrated in 1998, the event has spread to 28 different countries, including the United States, Australia, Italy, Singapore, Japan, India, and many others, despite the fact that it is not yet officially recognized by the United Nations. In 2010, the United Kingdom declared Kindness Day UK, an event celebrated and acknowledged by numerous charities, organizations, and schools across the United Kingdom. Since its launch, Kindness Day UK has been endorsed and supported by a number of celebrities, athletes, politicians, and religious leaders that encourage people across the United Kingdom to get out and perform acts of kindness. Eventually, Kindness Day UK may pave the way for other national events within different countries.
Anyone hoping to understand more ways they can how to be kind to others and engage more kindly with fellow humans can visit the World Kindness Movement’s website at https://www.theworldkindnessmovement.org/