Maya Angelou once said, “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” This is the central message of World Kindness Day.
Founded in 1998 by the World Kindness Movement, this unofficial holiday is celebrated annually on November 13th, and encourages people to take one day to intentionally focus on spreading joy, happiness and peace through kindness.
Research has found a positive feedback loop between kindness and happiness. When someone performs an act of kindness, they experience joy — and people who are happy tend to also be kinder to others. And the best part is, kindness is free! It’s the gift that keeps giving back and doesn’t cost a thing.
A simple way to observe World Kindness Day is to commit to performing at least 3 random acts of kindness. Here are a few simple ways you can spread kindness today (and everyday!):
- Smile at a stranger
- Give a compliment (we often take notice of hair styles or clothing we like on someone else, but when is the last time you told them?)
- Pay for the next person’s coffee in line
- Hold a door open for someone else
- Share kindness on social media
- Sweep, rake or shovel off the sidewalk for a neighbor
Spreading kindness as a family is simple, and a great way to help your children learn to demonstrate empathy. (We all know this world needs more kindness, and kids love to give it away!) Here are some ways to get them involved:
- Donate books, clothing or toys they no longer play with to Goodwill or a local shelter
- Write encouraging messages with chalk on the sidewalk for passersby. “You rock!”, “You got this!”, or “Hope your day is as awesome as you are!” are great places to start.
- Create “smile it forward” homemade cards to leave on windshields around town.
- Read books about kindness. Recommendations: Be Kind or Random Acts of Kindness.
- Share this sweet video with them — Color Your World With Kindness.
- Share this quote from Aesop with them and see where the conversation goes, “No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted.”