Just be kind. The act itself is free and it’s priceless. — Lady Gaga
World Kindness Day is on November 13th. 36 countries around the world belong to the official organization and celebrate World Kindness Day. It began in 1998 when a group of non-profit organizations got together and decided that one way that people can change the world (and many of the problems they deal with) is to be kind.
I first learned about World Kindness Day from Lady Gaga. In 2012, Lady Gaga started a non-profit organization with her mom called the Born This Way Foundation. Their main goal is “supporting the wellness of young people and empowering them to create a kinder and braver world.”
Last year, the Born This Way Foundation joined Lady Gaga on her tour and to kick off the “Channel Kindness” tour. They went all over the United States hosting events and encouraging people to be kind.
We Need Kindness Now
I believe that being kind is one of the most important things that we can do.
It’s especially important right now, because we see so much more unkindness in the ways many people are interacting. A quick glance at the comments in many online forums can show you direct unkindness with mean, bullying, or taunting words being posted. But there are also a variety of ways that we see indirect unkindness around us. You might see indirect unkindness when a person focuses on their phone and completely ignores the cashier working on their order.
Research on Kindness
I think that most of us agree that kindness is important and even more needed now. Researchers are continuing to discover more benefits from kindness:
- Kindness can lower the effects of stress
- Kindness to others can boost psychological flourishing
- It can reduce social anxiety
- Kindness improves your mood
- It can boost your immunity
- It can increase your energy levels and confidence
- Kindness is contagious
It is easy to go through our day focused on ourselves and our own tasks. Our need to get to the next activity or the next item on our to do list can make us oblivious to the kindness being done around us or being done for us.
Stop and notice when you are receiving an act of kindness and express gratitude for it. Then take time to notice when people around you are doing acts of kindness for others. You’ll be surprised at how often you see these acts of kindness quietly being performed around you.
Join the ranks of the people who are being kind around you. Make time during the day to eliminate your distractions and pay attention to the people around you so that you can be kind to them. Think about the kindness that will make a difference to them and make an effort to do it.
I started a 21 day Kindness program and it is filled with simple ideas for how to be kind to those around you. You can join at any time by signing up here. It really doesn’t take much time or effort to be kind. It is kind to open the door for someone, or to let someone go ahead of you in the checkout line, to smile, or to send an I’m thinking of you note.
The Born This Way Foundation did research with over 4000 students. The students said their schools were kind places if at least 1 teacher said hello to them. Then the researchers found that having a kind school meant that students’ mental health was significantly better. It really is that simple to make a difference in someone’s life!