World Kindness Day is celebrated on November 13 each year. The purpose of this day is to help each of us understand that compassion is the glue binding us together.
The concept behind World Kindness Day began at a Tokyo conference more than two decades ago. It has grown into a global movement to explore how we can all be the change we want to see in our communities.
Anything based on genuine kindness is welcome on this day. If you need some ideas to get your creativity flowing, here are some ways others have celebrated in the past.
1. Perform Random Acts of Kindness
You never know when someone might be feeling a little low. If you take a moment to go out of your way to do something nice for a stranger, you can make the world a better place. Here are some thoughts to get you started.
- Leave a larger tip than usual when eating at a restaurant.
- Visit an animal shelter to spend time or donate funds.
- Place money in a vending machine for someone to use.
- Write a note of appreciation to a good neighbor, vendor or teacher.
2. Put Together Care Packages
A care package doesn’t need to be large or expensive to be meaningful. If you send a friend or someone you love a favorite item, something you know they like, or even a book they’ve wanted to read, you can spread a little joy.
This approach doesn’t have to stop with family and friends. You can leave small gifts or snacks on doorsteps, on downtown streets, or anywhere people travel. Just make sure it is identifiable as a product and not something suspicious.
3. Check-in with Someone
Life is too short to have a chip on your shoulder. If there is a family member or a friend you haven’t spoken to in a while, you can celebrate World Kindness Day by reaching out to talk or schedule a time to visit. Even a text or a DM lets others know you’re thinking of them.
A face-to-face connection offers something that phone calls or texts cannot, so try to have this meeting in person whenever possible.
4. Offer a Smile
When someone smiles at you, the natural response is to offer one in return. Smiles are just as contagious as yawns, and when people provide them to you, there’s a positive effect on your mental health. Why not do the same in return as you go about the business of your day?
You can follow up a smile with a genuine compliment. If something authentic doesn’t come to mind, saying “thank you” or offering an apology for an unintended slight communicates respect and accountability.
5. Bring Treats to the Office
Coworkers often rotate responsibilities for coffee and other essentials to help get through a long day at the office. To celebrate World Kindness Day, consider surprising everyone with some home-baked goodies or treats. Brownies, cookies, and similar items bring a feeling of home and comfort through the memories they offer.
If someone has a food allergy or sensitivity, don’t forget to bring something so that they can feel included in the kindness.
6. Pick Up the Litter
Trash is everywhere these days. Some of it is left there intentionally, but that isn’t always the case. Instead of having someone else remove these items, bring a bag along that lets you safely dispose of the items. Even picking up a few things can make the world a cleaner place!
You could sign up for an Adopt-a-Highway program where you become responsible for cleaning up one stretch of road in your community on World Kindness Day. It might require some training due to the hazards you might find, but it can also help your community stay cleaner and healthier. Google “adopt a highway” for opportunities in your state or province.
7. Plant a Tree or a Garden
Although November tends to mark the start of winter for many, it can still be a time when we celebrate our planet. By planting trees or creating self-sustaining gardens, we can beautify our communities while focusing on sustainable results.
8. Pay for a Meal
Every so often, a news story features a chain of people at a drive-thru or business paying for the food orders or beverages of the people behind them. Although these events certainly boost a community, consider paying for a meal for a stranger you’ve just met on the street. Give without expecting something in return.
We can make the world better if we come together in kindness. Choose one of these ideas for November 13 or an idea you’ve developed, and then create happiness.