“When you are kind to others, it not only changes you, it changes the world.” – Harold Kushner
World Kindness Day was started in 1998 by The World Kindness Movement and is celebrated annually on Nov. 13 by many countries across the globe, 28 to be exact. Its purpose is to make the world a better place by raising the awareness of kindness as a unifier of all people. It is something that we can all do. Participants celebrate the day by performing good deeds and acts of kindness with the hope of creating a kindness ripple that is felt around the world.
Kindness is simply being friendly, generous and considerate.
A good deed is an act of kindness, contribution or help. In other words, becoming aware of the needs and feelings of others then finding ways to selflessly enrich their lives. The greatest generosity occurs when someone gives joy to another person but wants nothing in return. When you show kindness, you and the receiver both experience great joy and reward. The positive energy generated is beneficial for both parties and nourishes the spirit as we begin to focus less on ourselves and more on others.
Here’s why you should want to promote kindness. 25% of all students, that’s 1 out of every 4 of our children, are regularly bullied at school. By teaching our kids to be kind to everyone despite their differences and to stand up to bullying when they witness it, we are raising them to be brave, kind and confident adults. If that isn’t reason enough, kindness makes us happy and lowers our stress levels, and people who are happier and have lower stress age slower. And we could all use fewer gray hairs or wrinkles, am I right?
Kindness starts with each one of us. So, I challenge you all to commit at least one act of kindness tomorrow. Then try to continue with another act of kindness per week or month or whatever works for you and your family. But have fun with it, let your kids be creative and see what they can come up with. They will enjoy it as much as their recipients do and they will feel accomplished and good about themselves. The positivity that you generate will be contagious and will inspire others to pay the kindness forward as well and help make our world a kinder place to live in.
Here are some ideas to get you started. I encourage you to comment below with your own ideas or stories of kindness.
20 Acts of Kindness Perfect for Any Family:
1. Leave a message on someone’s driveway in sidewalk chalk or write a note and leave it on their car windshield telling them to have a great day.
2. Let your kids help you pick out and assemble care packages for the homeless. Place necessities such as water bottles, socks, gloves, hand/feet warmers, blankets, snacks, hand sanitizer, toiletries, etc. in a bag and pass them out when you see someone in need. They may even choose to draw a picture or write a note to place inside the packages.
3. Read books about kindness. By reading together as a family, it gives you the chance to discuss kindness and how to practice it on a regular basis. Here are some suggestions.
4. Paint rocks or make laminated cards with messages of kindness and hide them in public places to spread kindness around your community.
5. Write a note or card to a teacher, first responder or nurse, and tell them they are doing a good job and that you appreciate them.
6. Place a bouquet of flowers, plate of cookies, or draw a picture and leave it on a neighbor’s or friend’s porch.
7. Make signs with inspirational sayings on them and place them in your yard for all to see as they are driving by.
8. Write inspiring messages on post-it notes and leave them on mirrors in your house or at school.
9. Let your children help you go through the pantry to find food to donate to a local food pantry. Then let them go through their toys and books and pick some out to donate to a foster child program, children’s hospital, shelter or a charity organization.
10. Make pretty bookmarks with positive messages on them and leave them in library books for others to find. Or put them in books to donate to a Little Library Box at a local park.
11. Send a greeting card and/or a care package to someone in the military.
12. Grab your kids and some gloves and go pick up litter around your neighborhood.
13. Donate pet food, litter, bleach/cleaning supplies, collars, leashes, toys, newspapers or old blankets/towels to an animal shelter.
14. Sweep the walkway or rake the leaves in the yard of a neighbor or someone in your community.
15. Let your child choose and help you pack up the items for a shoebox gift for Operation Christmas Child. Boxes can be donated at many churches or click here for more locations.
16. Write thank you notes or give small gifts to your mail carriers, delivery drivers and/or trash collectors.
17. Take your neighbor’s newspaper or emptied garbage cans in for them.
18. Make a birthday box filled with cake mix, frosting, candles, balloons and party hats and donate it to a local food pantry.
19. Start a giving plate where your family fills a plate with homemade goodies and signs the back of the plate with your name and the date (with a permanent marker) and gives it to a family member or friend outside the home. Then that person fills the plate with goodies, signs their name and passes it on to the next person, and so on.
20. Have each member of your family write notes of appreciation for one another. You can either present them to one another at dinner or tape them to the recipient’s bedroom door.
In what ways does your family show kindness to others?