World Kindness Day

kindness and gratitude

You likely know the scene, at the traffic lights, the lights go green and no one moves, being kind I might think ‘maybe they have just been to see an ill relative’ being unkind I think ‘seriously what on earth are you doing?’

Can you relate to feeling like this?

Being kind isn’t always easy but today is World Kindness Day and I’d like to think it could be the start of a kindness movement. I think the world needs it, don’t you?  I am astounded how folks race past me, pushing through the door first.

the kindness of strangersThat said, folks here in British Columbia are pretty kind here anyway actually but I am I can manage one act of kindness each day?

Kindness helps us feel happier. [1] I might not always feel like it but when I am kind I must admit I do feel better.

We learn kindness through the act of doing something kind, not simply thinking about being kind. [2]

It seems that it is the ‘act’ that counts.

Empathy is something the world needs more of today. We have perhaps numbed ourselves to the struggles of others – even those living near us. It is too overwhelming sometimes but it is the little things that count.  It is worth it.  Being kind doesn’t actually cost money, a smile is free!

Kind Simplicity: Opening the door

I was walking out of the library last week, the doors are very big and heavy doors, if it is a windy day it is quite an effort to push them open. I often carry my basket but was surprised when I pushed the door only to find it moved with ease.  A young lad (seriously policemen look young to me now – it happens to us all 😉 ) opened the door for me.  I was shocked and said “oh wow, thank you.  It happens so rarely I was not expecting it, you are kind thank you.”

The young lad beamed a smile and said “no problem.” I walked off feeling happy.  It may not seem like a big deal but his little act of kindness made me smile.  I felt happy. The small actions can make someone’s day.

[quote]

There is overwhelming evidence that the higher the level of self-esteem, the more likely one will be to treat others with respect, kindness, and generosity.

Nathaniel Branden (1930)
Canadian Psychotherapist And Writer[/quote]

To learn more about World Kindness Day visit their website

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A kindness calendar

November has begun but be sure to download this fabulous Kindness calendar to give you a few ideas of how to incorporate kindness into your life.

sharing a coffee with friendsIt might even be as simple as making a co-worker a cup of coffee when they have a deadline!  I certainly appreciate it when I get made a cup of tea.

Rather like gratitude kindness benefits you and the other person!

Being kind isn’t being a door mat though, far from it, it is a genuine act that we want to do without being attached to the result.

Ways I incorporate kindness into my life:

  • Smile at someone just because.
  • Open the door for someone.
  • Buy a cup of coffee (or two) for someone behind you. This is so much fun, I did it at an airport once and just watched spontaneous smiles happen!
  • Thank someone who is not expecting it.
  • Let a car go in front or have your car parking space.
  • When someone greets you ask how they are and really listen to their answer.

Write a letter

write a letter to share kindness

Another way to make a difference is write a letter. I love letters so this is a favourite of mine.

It might be to your grandmother, an aging aunt, a friend of your parents who is living alone, someone who will appreciate the hand written letter telling them your news and brightening their day.

Learn more about the power of letters sharing love.

What will you do for World Kindness Day and all the 364 days until next year’s World Kindness Day?

References:

[1] http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-moment-youth/201301/acts-kindness-key-happiness-children-teens?goback=.gde_2053471_member_200549162

[2] http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/positive-psychology-in-the-classroom/201302/the-positive-psychology-kindness

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