A few weeks ago when me and my fellow inspirational writers for Loving On Me received the schedule of when our articles were due from colleague Cherie, I learned my next one was due on World Kindness Day, November 13th, which I did not hear about until then.
I was intrigued and started thinking about being kind. What is kindness anyway and how great there’s a whole day in this theme? I conducted a small research, which I’m not going to tell you about too much because people from America already know what it is and practice it every November the 13th, right? But for my Dutchies and other Europeans who read Loving On Me, here’s the bigger idea behind it:
It is a day that encourages individuals to overlook boundaries, race and religion, and be kind.
According to modern psychology, altruistic acts increase our own happiness in a profound way. World Kindness Day was introduced in 1998 by the World Kindness Movement. It is observed in many countries, including Canada, Japan, Australia, Nigeria and United Arab Emirates.
I’m sure a few people are of the opinion that it makes no sense to have a whole day dedicated to this because we should be kind any day and every day.
And yes, of course, you should, but that does not mean that you always succeed in it, does it? And moreover a whole day of being kind means you can make happy a lot more and different people than you’re usually kind to. Because let’s face it, it is easier to be kind to someone with whom we feel comfortable enough to be kind to.
Being kind means being vulnerable, which is strong and empowering. Why not try giving some loving energy to the seemingly grumpy ones? They need it the most.
How to be kind is an art form in itself, and how to receive kindness too, but more on that later. The easiest and purest way of being kind, and giving a piece of your loving energy, should be like delivering something at the doorstep. Someone can choose to accept it and take it in or they can choose to ignore it and leave it there. Of course, given kindness becomes something different when it is accepted. When kindness is accepted, it is a gift that radiates love back to the giver so both giver and taker can enjoy the beauty of the moment. Without the accepting, it is still kindness, but then it only warms the heart of the giver. And that is perfect too.
And the other side of the kindness coin is being able to receive kindness. How often have you ever really received kindness, accepted it gratefully and with grace and let the kindness flow through you without wanting to reciprocate immediately; or without apologetically telling the person that complimented you how not-expensive these [enter clothes] were?
Your ability to give kindness and to receive kindness says something about you. If you find it hard to give, it could be you’re afraid to be turned down. If you find it hard to receive, it might be because you think you are not deserving of kindness. And all of this is not bad. It just tells you that you’ve got a little work to do in that department.
These is my top four of sweetest kindness memories:
1. One time I was looking for a spot in the sunshine on a terrace. These moments are scarce down here. There was only one chair left at a table with a girl who invited me to sit down with her. I thought this was so lovely that I paid for her drink as well (ok, this is a little bit of cheating as it is some kind of reciprocation). The thought about her finding out that her bill was already paid for her when she wanted to pay still makes me smile.
2. I shared my bouquet of flowers with a lady who absolutely loved it. She was so touched and happy it warmed my heart!
3. I complimented this tough looking kid. I estimate him at 18 years old or so, on his new hair cut. The look on his face was the best ever. He turned a little shy and looked very delighted with the compliment.
4. I bought a delicious raw chocolate cake, of which I ate half, when I learned that a dear friend living close by had a sad day. I stopped eating and brought the rest of it over for my friend to enjoy.
What is your top kindness memories? And if you’ve got any ideas on how to be more kind, please share them with us in the comments.
Thank you for reading!
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