I think that kindness is often under-estimated. There are so many qualities – courage, bravery, confidence, leadership, love – which all seem much more esteemed, so much more worthy of our time and attention. But that little and humble trait known as kindness is one that can make such a difference to our lives and our world.
Yesterday was World Kindness Day. Who knew? On this day, people try to make the world a better place by celebrating and promoting good deeds and pledging acts of kindness, either as individuals or as organisations. Random Acts of Kindness Foundation include a number of quotations on their website. Here are a few.
“Kindness is love made visible.” H. Swanepoel
“Always be a little kinder than necessary.” James M Barrie
“If you can be anything, be kind.” Unknown
And I thought that this one was good – and rather appropriate a few days after the state of Pennsylvania was so instrumental in heralding in a new President Elect in the USA.
“I expect to pass through life but once. If, therefore, there can be any kindness I can show, or any good thing I can do to my fellow being, let me do it now and not defer or neglect it, as I shall not pass this way again.” William Penn
The Covid-19 times are difficult for all of us in a number of different ways and World Kindness Day promotes the importance of being kind to each other, yourself and the world. They encourage people to share kindness graphics, memes and messages on social media, as well as to do small practical things to show kindness to each other. Suggestions are to send a text or make a phone call, to let someone merge in front of you in traffic with a smile and to treat someone (or yourself) to a cup of coffee. That last one might be tricky in times of lockdown and so we may need to be a little more creative than usual.
It doesn’t matter if you missed World Kindness Day. It can go on all year. And kindness really does breed kindness. It is infectious in a good way, and it makes the giver of kindness feel so good. It really is win-win!