What is World Kindness Day?

World Kindness Day annually falls on the 13th of November, celebrating kindness and its glorious benefits.

It acts as the perfect opportunity to promote acceptance, diversity and love within society.

With so many concerning issues arising around us, like the cost-of-living crisis, World Kindness Day is needed more than ever.

“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel” – Maya Angelou. 

The History of World Kindness Day

World Kindness Day started in 1988, held by a non-profit organisation called World Kindness Movement (WKM).

There are no political, commercial or religious reasons behind World Kindness Day – the sole purpose is to encourage greater kindness in the world.

Currently, there are 27 representatives across the globe – ranging from Brazil, China, and Romania to the UK and Zimbabwe.

In 2010, Kindness Day UK launched in the United Kingdom – inspired by World Kindness Day.

This year represents the twelfth year since Kindness Day UK began. Over the past decade, Kindness UK has relentlessly promoted practices of kindness.

As well as this, the event will fall on Remembrance Sunday celebrations.

This ties in nicely as remembrance and gratitude align with the values of World Kindness Day.

BBC Radio 4’s Study on Kindness

In August 2021, BBC Radio 4 created the Kindness Test – an online study created by the University of Sussex.

Led by psychologist Robin Banerjee, there were more than 60,000 contributions.

This made it the largest in-depth study of kindness ever recorded!

Here are the findings:

  • 3/4 of people received acts of kindness from close friends or family either often or nearly all the time.
  • The most common act of kindness was to help people when they asked for it, with favours following second (opening the door to let people in, helping strangers).
  • 2/3 agreed the pandemic has made us kinder.
  • People experience the most good deeds at home, followed by medical environments, the workplace, green spaces and stores.
  • People who talk to strangers see and receive more kindness.

Here’s How You Can Contribute:

There are many different ways you can get involved this Sunday on World Kindness Day.

Environmental Examples:

  • Take your own shopping bag or buy a “bag for life”
  • Turn the tap off when brushing your teeth
  • Walk or cycle to work to reduce your carbon footprint
  • Turn off electrical items at the plug socket
  • Turn off the lights in the room when you leave

Community Examples:

  • Offer to do a food shop for an elderly neighbour
  • Take the time to get to know your colleagues
  • Give a compliment or smile at a stranger
  • Let someone off your public transport first
  • Donate blood

Workplace Examples:

  • Kindness Day Award – who have you received the most kindness off?
  • Raise money for a local charity e.g. bake sale
  • Organise an office treat e.g. company breakfast or pizza lunch
  • Offer Kindness Day discounts or extras to your clients

You don’t need huge amounts of cash to improve someone’s day, the smallest act of kindness can make a big difference.

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