World Kindness Day
Friday, November 13th, was World Kindness Day. It always falls on November 13th, I just point out the fact that it was Friday because I was born on a Friday the 13th. What is considered by most to be the unluckiest of days could not bring me more joy (and my Mom, back in June of 1975). It was a doubly blessed day as participants all over the world oozed the spirit of kindness.
It’s unfortunate to me that this day has yet to be globally recognized, despite some appeals to the United Nations. It also makes me a little sad that it rolls around with little pomp and circumstance in the United States, short of a few cities who hold major celebrations (or virtual campaigns as the case called for this year).
In an effort to bring it more attention, I held a social media challenge on Instagram. I incorporated the concepts I use in my virtual workshop; ones intended to make people think about the concept of kindness. Does it come naturally? Is it something they notice in others? Are they kind to the person who matters most: themselves?
Creating the campaign was so much fun. Even though writing is my preferred medium, designing anything, from paints on canvas to graphic design, gets my creative juices flowing! I combed through old photos looking for the right ones to embody the daily concepts and I was so happy when respondents shared stories along those themes. We celebrated others, charitable causes, and ourselves.
Rather than share things I did for World Kindness Day (I delivered Meals on Wheels, no surprise!), I want to share some of the stories I heard this week:
“One day at the vet clinic...I overheard the girls talking about a client they were very sad over. An older woman was bringing her dog for his last trip and they knew she loved him like a child but wasn’t going to be able to afford anything beyond a communal cremation. They were planning on donating (money) from their pockets to be able to get her loved one back. I happened to remember those (gift) cards and gave them to the receptionist for that lady...the next time I was in they told me that she had been so moved that a stranger would do that.” ~Lori
“I witnessed a young boy during a torrential downpour offer his umbrella to an elderly man who was leaving the grocery store with his cart. He helped him load his groceries and it was so nice!” ~Taylor
“My husband dropped his phone in a parking lot. He didn’t discover it until about an hour later. After searching the parking lot, in the rain, it was nowhere to be found. Thankfully someone found it and turned it in at the customer service desk. People are good.” ~Karen
“My mum...has always taught me and my siblings to be kind to people of all walks of life and I try to emulate that for my son as he grows up. It isn’t always easy, but...I’m learning more about being kind to myself and others.” ~Leesha
These are just a FEW of the heartwarming stories of kindness I heard throughout the week. Tammy gave a ride to strangers who were still waiting for a taxi an hour later, when she’d finished her grocery shopping. Christine celebrated a lifelong friendship. So many friends honored animal rescues, which is one of the most thankful volunteer charges in the world (I would know, I served on the Friends of BARC board in my twenties).
At the end of the week, I heard the same comments from everyone who participated. Even if they didn’t win the grand prize, they enjoyed the journey. They discovered they didn’t give themselves enough credit when they took the high road. They realized how rewarding it is to witness others be kind and realize we’re all in this together. They were inspired to invite more kindness into their lives.
It will be 363 days until the next “official” World Kindness Day. I know I for one will be making each and every one of them count.
“On those days, turn to kindness. You’ll change someone else’s day, but you’ll also change your own.” ~Nicole J. Phillips