I Guess We Need a Day to Be Kind?
November 13, 2020
Did you know today is World Kindness Day? I didn’t until very recently…when I also realized we have a day for literally everything…including grilled cheese. But World Kindness Day piqued my interest.
A) I found it kind of sad that we needed a day to remind us to be kind
B) It’s nice to have a whole day to focus on being kind or as a reminder to be kind for the rest of the year.
The first thing I did when I learned that it’s World Kindness Day is looked up the definition of kindness because I find there are so many words we use every day that we don’t know the true definition of. According to the google machine, kindness is defined as, “the quality of being friendly, generous, and considerate.” Kindness is more than just being nice. Kindness implies genuine care for someone else, which I think is quite special.
It also got me thinking about a time when someone did something really kind for me. Immediately my mind went to our friends, Keith and Lauren. They are hands down some of the kindest and most considerate people I know. Last year when someone broke into our house and we were busy patching up the glass and crying over the invasion of privacy we felt, our doorbell rang. We weren’t expecting anyone, and as we were a bit shell shocked both Domi and I jumped. Having become very security conscious in the days following the break-in before we opened the door we checked our security camera. Much to our surprise Keith and Lauren were standing on the other side of the door. We were totally taken aback. They lived over an hour away and we hadn’t planned anything. We couldn’t figure out what they were doing there. After we finally got over the shock of the surprise visit we came to our senses long enough to realize we should probably open the door for our friends.
“We brought you some cookies,” They said in unison.
They handed them over, we hugged them and then they turned to go.
“Where are you going?” I asked.
“We didn’t want to bother you, we just figured you guys must feel pretty shaken up and we wanted to bring you something to say we’re thinking about you,” Keith said.
“Are you kidding? Get inside! Please at least stay and hang out for a little bit!” Domi answered.
It was so very kind of them. So beyond thoughtful. They drove over an hour just to show us they were thinking about us. I cried…no real shocker there…I couldn’t remember the last time I had gone so out of my way to do something like that for someone else. I was deeply touched.
Their kindness made me want to be more kind. Their thoughtfulness made me feel so grateful and because of them I started to find more ways to make other people feel as cared for and loved as Keith and Lauren had made us feel.
Being kind is more than just being nice. Being kind makes other people feel loved and taken care of, even if it’s a small random act of kindness that takes two seconds—in those two seconds you’ve likely inspired someone else to go out of their way to be kind.
Kindness is exponential. Even when you’re kind to someone and it goes unrecognized…which sometimes it just will—you can still feel good about the decision you made to be kind.
I have never regretted being kind to anyone in my life and conversely I have never wished I had been less kind to someone. Kindness costs you nothing and can make a world of difference.
So, today, on World Kindness Day, I hope we can all remember to be kind and to keep it up for at least the next 365 days and keep it going for as long as possible. And even if we occasionally forget and do something unkind there is always the possibility of starting over, apologizing, or choosing to do something filled with kindness in the coming moments.
In case you need somewhere to start, I’ve compiled a list of some acts of kindness I imagine would make people feel pretty darn good…most of them cost nothing to do:
1) Reach out to someone you haven’t spoken to in a while and genuinely ask them how they’re doing
2) Pick something up that someone has dropped…or because it’s corona-times at least let them know they have dropped something
3) Pay for someone’s coffee in the drive-thru line
4) Write a handwritten card or letter and mail it to someone
5) Flip over a penny that’s tails up to heads up for the next person that walks by (use a tissue and hand sanitizer please)
6) Reach out to a friend and support them—let them know that you are proud of them, or happy for them. Only do this if you genuinely mean it.
7) Buy flowers or a card randomly for your spouse, friend, or roommate
8) If someone you know is working hard on something support them in it. Ask them how you can help or give them a little bit of your time and energy.
9) If you say you’re going to do something, do it. It sounds like that’s not an act of kindness, but in a world where so many of us exercise so little follow-through, it will mean more than you realize.
But remember, we’re not doing this for the accolades, if your kindness goes unnoticed then you just need to know in your heart of hearts you can feel good about your choices to be kind to someone.
It doesn’t take a whole lot to be kind, but it can mean the world. Small opportunities will present themselves all the time. So, let’s take hold of them and enjoy every minute of kindness we can eke out of our day. Happy World Kindness Day friends, I love you. XOXOX, CAMD