It’s World Kindness Day and I thought it would be a good idea to post some resources to help you explore this year’s theme ‘Make Kindness the Norm.’
Encouraging people to be kind to themselves is one of my favourite things to do. I have a whole series of Go Team! posts here on the blog and I wrote a post about self-kindness this time last year.
I also love encouraging people to be kind to others but I tend to do that more in person (and I hope by leading by example) than I do in writing. However, given this year’s theme, I thought I would try to write a bit more about being kind to others.
With the way things are structured these days, it often feels like we are rewarded for snarkiness or snap judgements. There is a sense that we are in constant competition and that it is everyone for themselves.
It takes some effort to look beneath that dominant narrative and see the everyday kindness and the big-picture-positive projects that are happening all around us. It’s worth the work to find them though and once you start noticing them, you will begin to see them more and more often.
Obviously there are a lot of bad things going on in the world and a lot of things that need to change. I would never suggest that you ignore those issues but while we are working on them, we can also work on creating more kindness in the world.
Please don’t get caught up in the idea that kindnesses that you can perform and participate have to be grand gestures and huge tasks. Small acts of kindness can make a huge difference in one person’s life and making a small contribution to a bigger project can have a wide-ranging effect.
Kindness at any scale is incredibly powerful.
I’m not at all suggesting that you flip a switch and turn into a selfless person who operates only from kindness. Instead, I’m inviting you to make a difference for everyone involved by choosing the kindest option whenever it presents itself.
I think it would be good for the health, wellness, and brain space of everyone involved.
Note: a quick google search will produce tons of articles showing how being kind to others benefits us, I like the idea of letting go of that expectation and being kind for its own sake. I’m not suggesting that you dismiss the good feelings that may arise from kindness, those are terrific, but I think that having those feelings as our goal can lead to disappointment.
If you want some specific suggestions for kind actions, here’s a great list from the Random Acts of Kindness website:
I also found these great resources for you to explore:
Unconditional positive regard is an ongoing kindness that can strengthen our relationships.
Some Ways to be Kind to Yourself
More Kindness Resources at Random Acts of Kindness and at Inspire Kindness
A small kindness challenge from Greater Good Science Center.