Do you remember the last time someone showed kindness towards you? How did it make you feel?
Can you also recall a time when you were kind to someone? How did that make you feel?
If we observe the world we live in, we will realize that every day, we, and those around us are performing small acts of kindness. It can take many forms, like assisting someone with chores, taking the time to inquire about how they are doing, or complimenting them. It is kindness and compassion that binds people together and makes the world a happier place. It prevails all around us and maybe appreciated every moment.
A Day to Encourage Kindness
How many of us are aware that a day has been dedicated to highlight the importance of good deeds in the community?
World Kindness Day was founded in 1998 by the World Kindness Movement to encourage kindness around the globe. This day is celebrated on 13th November annually. The day has gained genuine global recognition since it was established more than 20 years ago. Activities related to the day have drawn attendees from every continent. These have included events like concerts, dance parties, and exchange of “kindness cards” The goal of World Kindness Day is to spread compassion via little acts of thoughtfulness.
UNESCO MGIEP has introduced #KindnessMatters for the SDGs, a global youth campaign. They aspire to engage young people worldwide in achieving the 17 SDGs by inspiring deeds of kindness. This initiative aims to foster a compassionate society in which every young person’s altruistic deed counts!
Researchers in psychology have discovered that being kind to others increases happiness and well-being. It has also been related to physical health advantages, such as lower blood pressure.
How to Instill an Appreciation for Kindness in Children
As educators and parents, we want children to see the world as a hopeful place. Appreciating kindness can go a long way in developing a sense of gratitude. Here are a few ways we can help children cherish kindness in everyday life.
Sharing personal stories- Sharing personal stories of kindness with children helps them value it in their daily lives. It also encourages them to be more compassionate towards others.
Kindness Jars – We can place kindness jars in our homes. Whenever a family member does or receives a kind act, a chit can be added in the jar. Watch the numbers grow. Later, read out the chits in family meetings and cherish the memories.
Acts of Kindness -Simple acts like helping friends and family with daily chores, enquiring about their health, lending a helping hand to someone in need go a long way in adding beauty to the world.
Kindness Quotes and Other Crafts – Children can express themselves in creative ways and place quotes or other craft items with messages of kindness in their rooms. It is a wonderful idea to make kindness paperweights out of stones and gift them to friends and family.
Acknowledging Empathy -In our life there are many moments when we feel overwhelmed with emotions. It is a blessing to have empathetic people in our lives who support us without judging us at such times. Acknowledge and appreciate them for their kindness.
‘Thank You’ Cards – Kids can be encouraged to make thank you cards for the helpers at home, school and the community. Watch the faces of the helpers light up as they receive the cards.
Narrating Stories of Kindness to Kids – Stories create an immersive experience for children as they are able to relate to the characters in the stories. Our folktales and mythological stories also emphasize the value of kindness. ‘Daanveer Karan’ a character from Mahabharat, is well known for his generosity and benevolence.
Be Kind to Yourself – This is of utmost importance and should be taught from an early age. We often judge ourselves rather harshly and forget to be kind to ourselves. Self-compassion involves treating oneself with respect and kindness, just as we would treat a dear friend.
Donate Clothes, Toys, Old Books, and Stationery – Inspire your children to give away old clothes, toys and other items, they have outgrown, to those in need.
Raise Funds For Those in Need – I am sure many of us still remember the satisfaction we felt, as kids, when we raised funds for those in need. Instill the same values in your children.
Kindness Towards Nature -Watering and taking care of plants, using our resources judiciously and being mindful towards environmental pollution are some ways to show kindness towards nature.
Even the smallest act of kindness has an impact and facilitates in creating a better world.
Do share with us some of your kindness stories and how they made you feel.
“Remember, there’s no such thing as a small act of kindness. Every act creates a ripple with no logical end.” —Scott Adams