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If you’ve paid any attention to the news over the past few years, then you’ve likely seen no shortage of somewhat exasperated headlines saying that everything is terrible. Climate change remains an uphill battle with unclear solutions, and the president of the U.S. is being accused of massive wrongdoing. World Kindness Day, which takes place annually on November 13, exists as an antidote to what many perceive as a cruel, chaotic world.
On World Kindness Day, the organization Random Acts of Kindness encourages people to do exactly the thing after which the nonprofit is named. Here are four kind things you can do to celebrate World Kindness Day.
1. Check in with your friends and family
Even if you talk to your family and close friends often, World Kindness Day can provide a great opportunity for you to simply check in with them. You don’t have to do this in any way that’s forced, formal, or anything of the like (sending a lifeless “hey, just checking in” text might fall flat). Instead, just ask the people that matter to you how they are, what they’re up to, how they’ve been feeling lately, etc. For World Kindness Day, don’t just tell people that you care – show it.
2. Donate to organizations
Some people might argue that checking in with your friends is just being nice, not being kind. These people see a distinction – being nice is just being friendly, whereas being kind involves going out of your way to make the lives of others just a bit easier. One surefire way to be kind, then, is to donate to organizations that use their money to improve the quality of life for people such as those living in poverty, battling illness or disease, or suffering the impacts of the global refugee crisis. A simple internet search can point you to organizations for which your kindness can make all the difference.
3. Consider small gestures
Small gestures are easier to make than you might realize. Consider driving: Part of driving is obeying stop signs and letting pedestrians cross before you do. This means that you’ve probably encountered your fair share of pedestrians who might be unsure whether it’s you or they who have the right to cross. On World Kindness Day, consider giving a simple wave and a smile to someone waiting to cross. This small act can bring an unexpected flicker of joy into a total stranger’s life.
4. Be kind to yourself
Life comes with no shortage of commitments that don’t fuel your passions or enrich your soul. For World Kindness Day, take a moment to make sure that you’re giving yourself enough time to do what you love or just relax – how can you be kind to others without being kind to yourself? This doesn’t mean completely dropping the ball on any obligations to which you’ve already committed, but it does mean stepping back from work for a few hours if you find yourself working constantly. Take care of yourself today – you deserve it.
How do you plan to celebrate World Kindness Day? Share your ideas in the comments!