The Meaning of World Kindness Day
Plus 10 Ideas for Small Acts of Kindness on Any Day
By Missy Klosterman, MSW, APSW, Resident Therapist at Samaritan Counseling Center of the Fox Valley
World Kindness Day was established in 1998 in Tokyo and has since taken hold of hearts and minds all over the world. Celebrated annually on November 13, World Kindness Day is set aside to focus on good deeds and the common thread of kindness that binds together all of humanity. The founders and supporters of the worldwide kindness movement emphasize that kindness has the capacity to bridge the divides of race, religion, politics, gender, economic differences, and geography—a powerful solution for the challenges of our time.
Why World Kindness Day?
World Kindness Day reminds us to slow down and practice compassion and kindness towards others, ourselves, and our environment. When we make kindness the focus of our day, we are more aware of our actions and what is happening around us. We avoid rushing to judgment and instead practice compassion for the hidden burdens that every person carries. Studies show when others observe kindness in action, they are more likely to carry out an act of kindness, too.
How To Do World Kindness Day
Try putting down your cell phone, unplugging from social media, and instead interacting with those who are in your physical presence. Be present in the moment and notice all that surrounds you, from bustling people, rustling leaves, and warm sunshine, to delicious aromas and unexpected smiles. Challenge yourself to step out of your comfort zone to complete a simple act of kindness, including being kind to yourself. The day can be used to experiment with kindness in all areas of your life. You will begin to recognize the small joys that lift the human spirit, on this special day and every day.
A List of Kind Ideas for Any Day of the Year
- Send an uplifting text to a friend or family member
- Share a compliment with a co-worker or friend
- Genuinely smile at a stranger—or at yourself in the mirror!
- Write a thank you note and send it via USPS
- Pick up litter at the park
- Deliver needed items to a food pantry, homeless shelter, or animal shelter
- Pay-it-forward at the drive-through
- Say good morning to the person on the elevator with you
- Offer to help someone carry something heavy, return a grocery cart, or hold a door
- Leave a grateful note for your mail carrier in your mailbox
Missy Klosterman, MSW, APSW
Missy is a resident mental health therapist. She works with children, adolescents and adults experiencing a variety of mental health concerns including: anxiety, depression, adjustment issues, life transitions and relationship difficulties. Missy serves clients in our Menasha and New London locations.