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Kindness Day

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/

Written By A. Alderman

An Open Letter About Kindness

By Jack Hindle

Kindness day is November 13th, and with it comes a reflection of the past and thoughts for the future.


Kindness is this ethereal quality or trait that brings some of the best experiences to the human condition. To me, kindness is linked to memory and hope. When we remember the moments when people were kind to us, it romanticizes and recolors our lens of the past. It’s in those moments that we look back on with the most sentiment and joy. When we feel connected to those moments of kindness, it makes the future feel a little less opaque and a little less heartless. If we can find moments and memories that tie us to some sort of optimism, it leads us to believe that there is hope for tomorrow.


This is where kindness holds its power; it can give us glimpses of good moments, creating hope for more of those moments to come. Kindness creates uncontainable smiles and joy-filled tears. Kindness can be so strong in moments that it doesn’t have to be a massive act to change a person’s life. It can be as simple as a conversation or an understanding nod.


I don’t want this open letter to be just preaching kindness, though. I believe that most people know that they should be kind, and most people want to be kind and try to bring kindness into their world. However, I do think a more interesting question and examination would be what kindness looked like in the past compared to how kindness is experienced and looks like today. 


I am a younger individual, but from asking older relatives and people I know, they seem to suggest that in the past, kindness dealt more with being patient and staying in a role where there was a common type of kindness. Twenty to forty years ago, the world was slower, and communities were tighter. World affairs were not as known or easy to access. Kindness moved through a projection of mellow movements. People stopped quicker to talk, and those talks would take their time. The same older generations see today’s kindness move quicker and is more worldly. Being kind to others has changed in that people are more aware of societal issues; thus, there is a stronger pessimism that one person’s actions wouldn’t fix much of anything.


I can see where they are coming from; when one has a deeper understanding of political and cultural institutions, it tends to create more cynicism about those institutions. I also believe that our cultural interactions with kindness have shifted, but not exactly how the older people in my life see it. I think there is a more concentrated level of wanting kindness to be spread to all facets of life beyond that of the individual. Not to say that an entire generation thinks the same way, for they definitely don’t, but I think that is where the shift has been. Younger people want kindness at all levels of society. Before you read on, I want to state that the younger generations are not a monolith, just like older generations are not a monolith. I think that young people see older people’s rose-tinted visions of the past as, at best, naive and at worst deceitful, but that also isn’t the whole story. When someone older remembers good moments in their lives, including moments of kindness, it’s not like those moments or feelings didn’t happen. There might have been something else going on in the background, but there might not have been. It is always case to case, and most importantly, those moments of kindness affected their lives. They made lasting memories, and they feel better about their lives because of it.


Kindness in corporations, governmental systems, and individual actions would be incredible, even if it is quixotic or lofty in hopes. Just trying to bring kindness to your life at all times becomes complicated and muddy the more you think about it. Being completely kind is itself lofty; for example, say you like avocados, but you learn that some avocados are farmed using modern-day slavery. You could think, “Well, supporting this with my money is not kind to those who are enslaved, so I am not going to eat any avocados without knowing one hundred percent where they come from.” If it were just avocados, then that wouldn’t be the hardest thing to manage, but it’s not just avocados, it’s chocolate, tomatoes, clothes, and the list just keeps going on. The more a person understands the world, the harder it is to be entirely kind. To top it off, just being kind in a day-to-day setting where you aren’t focused on where your products come from is already incredibly hard. After all, we are all human and to err is human. We can get frustrated and angry. Life is hard. Dealing with life is complicated and dealing with oneself is hard.


None of this is to say that it is pointless to be kind; it is the opposite. When kindness feels out of reach, it makes it all the more important to strive for it. This includes kindness to yourself. It is knowing that you’re not going to get it right one hundred percent of the time. I know that’s hard as well, but knowing and accepting future mistakes will let you move through life easier. When you know a mistake will happen in the future, you can get a leg up on working through it and fixing it. Again, this is easier said than done, and I also struggle with this all the time, but trying is always better than not trying at all.


Today is national kindness day, and for the most part, most people will not know that today is a celebration of kindness. Most people will go about their day no differently than before. However, if you do know that today is national kindness day, try your best, do what you can, that’s all anyone can ask for, and that’s all you can do.


Written By Kathlene Rushing
Kathlene Rushing is a prolific writer with a passion for the Gulf Coast. Having lived on the coast for more than 10 years, she has a deep understanding of the culture and atmosphere that allows her to speak openly about all that Pensacola has to offer.
Author's Website: https://webnetmobilesites.com