Kind people are our kinda people

As novelist Henry James tells us, “Three things in human life are important: the first is to be kind; the second is to be kind, and the third is to be kind.”  World Kindness Day also reminds us (in case we need it) to take a breath, and be kind to each other, to ourselves, and to the world.

The purpose of the day, celebrated every year on November 13, is to help us all remember that compassion has an immense power to connect us.

Finding ways to share kindness

Wondering how to make the world a little bit better on World Kindness Day and beyond? Turns out there are heaps of opportunities to add a dash of kindness to someone’s day that aren’t extravagant or expensive.

With those we know

Depending on where you live, demonstrating kindness face to face might be challenging for a while. But most of the ideas below won’t break social distancing rules.

  • Bake cupcakes (and give them all away)
  • Send flowers to a friend, just because
  • Ask an elderly neighbour if they need any help with chores, errands or shopping
  • Help a friend pack (or unpack) for a house move
  • Send a handwritten thank you note or handmade card
  • Offer to baby- or dog-sit for a friend
  • Tell friends and whānau (family) how much you appreciate them
  • Check in on someone who’s doing it tough
  • Support a friend who wants to reach a life goal (like getting more active)

And those we don’t

Maybe you’d like to spread the love a little wider. Kindness is like a boomerang. Throw it out into the world and somehow it always comes back. Here are a few kindness ideas to try a little further from home.

  • Give blood (or plasma, which is basically liquid gold). In New Zealand, call 0800 GIVE BLOOD (0800 448 325). In Australia, call Red Cross Lifeblood on 13 14 95.
  • Take an extra umbrella with you, to give to a stranger on a rainy day, or donate a reusable bag to a forgetful supermarket shopper
  • Buy a meal for or give a coat to someone who’s sleeping rough
  • Leave your favourite novel at a street library
  • Volunteer for a foodbank, the SPCA, or tree planting

Of course, while celebrating World Kindness Day is a great way to shine a light on kindness, the kindness well doesn’t run dry when we draw from it every other day of the year. Here’s to being kind to each other, especially ourselves.