So as you probably know most days have a cause they are linked to and some can seem rather random and others are so obvious they should be part of our lives everyday. For me today’s World Kindness Day is one of the ones that is a key value for me and I do believe we should spread kindness everyday and if we all had kindness as one of our core values the world would be a better place.
Kindness costs the giver nothing yet can change the life of the receiver which in turn benefits the giver as they feel good, so there really is no excuse. You can show kindness by simply smiling at someone, by asking how someone really is when you know things aren’t great, listening to someone, let someone go in front of you, you could volunteer or do so many other things.
People often tell me I am too kind which has always baffled me as I don’t understand how you can be too kind. I completely understand the importance of being boundaried and looking after yourself and not letting people repeatedly take advantage of you but if you can be kind why wouldn’t you?
As a therapist I know that being kind shouldn’t just be something we do for others, we need to show that kindness to ourselves too. This goes back to the analogy of putting your own oxygen mask on first. This isn’t selfish as some people think but allows you to help more people. Often we are all kinder to others and would never criticise anyone like the way we criticise ourselves so we need to learn how to be nicer to ourselves and this includes watching the language we use to speak to ourselves as we are listening the whole time.
We should teach our kids to be kind as that is an important life skill. The great thing about kindness too is that even if you just witness someone else being kind it can make you smile and feel happy and optimistic which we all could do with more of.
If you have time and the inclination it can be really nice to do random acts of kindness like writing a nice note and leaving it on the tube for someone to find, or perhaps leave your favourite book somewhere for someone else to read or you can pay for someone else’s coffee or lunch as a surprise. You can find some more ideas and information about the science of kindness at https://www.randomactsofkindness.org/get-inspired
Volunteering is something kind to do and as someone who volunteers regularly I know I have benefitted so much too. When I volunteer for the wonderful North London Cares even when I have the responsibility of running a social club for them I just see it as a chance to catch up with friends old and new. I am also on the committee for an annual fundraiser for the fantastic Combat Stress and yes whilst it takes up time throughout the year as well as on the actual day I have made some wonderful friends and when you hear from the veterans who have benefitted I can’t help but feel proud and want to do more.
I thank you for taking the time to read this post and implore you to go out and spread kindness everywhere you go and enjoy the warm fuzzy feeling it will give you and others. Do let me know if you feel inspired to do something different too.