I have been meaning to write a blog on Kindness for some time. I think this is the most essential personality trait that anyone can have. Also, if ever there was a time for Kindness it’s Now. I have in my life been given random acts of kindness, often from surprizing sources and these were very important to me at the time. Acts of Kindness, don’t need to be huge gestures, sometimes its small things that matter most and mean a lot. Research shows that helping others can be beneficial to our own mental health. It can reduce stress, improve our emotional wellbeing and even benefit our physical health. Almost everybody feels good when someone is kind to them. This is especially true for those who are vulnerable, like people who are recovering from depression or who are learning to live with dementia. Acts of kindness and compassion can increase wellbeing and aid recovery.
“Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.” Leo Buscaglia, 1924 – 1998
In the business world, Kindness is not widely regarded as a matter for serious businesspeople. Corporate language is rife with going into battle and winning at all costs, the survival of the strongest, and kind, caring people are regarded as a bit soft and even weak. Think of Margret Thatcher and The Apprentice. The times they may be a changing. According to a recent Guardian article, a poll carried out revealed that just one person in eight wants life in the UK to return to exactly as it was before when the coronavirus pandemic is over. The article asserts that there is a widespread appetite for a kinder society that allows workers more time off with family and friends, cares about the environment, and ensures high levels of employment. So, I think even the business world is waking up to treating people with more Kindness.
World Kindness Day is an international observance that falls every year on the 13th of November. First launched in 1998 by The World Kindness Movement, is an organisation formed at a 1997 Tokyo conference of like-minded kindness organisations from around the world. There are currently over 28 nations involved in The World Kindness Movement which is not affiliated with any religion or political movement. The mission of the World Kindness Movement and World Kindness Day is to create a kinder world by inspiring individuals and nations towards greater kindness.
In the UK, Kindness Day UK is organised by Kindness UK, a not for profit organisation. Kindness Day UK was launched on 13th November 2010. On this day, participants attempt to make the world a better place by celebrating and promoting good deeds and pledging acts of kindness, either as individuals or as organisations. The event has continued to grow in popularity every year with increasing numbers of individuals, schools, charities, institutions and businesses taking part.
For more details visit Kindness UK website http://www.kindnessuk.com.
These little gestures are sometimes also known by the acronym RAOK (Random Acts of Kindness) and whilst you don’t really need an international day to do any of them. ( Do you?) It does get the message out there, which has to be a good thing. Random acts of kindness could be: paying it forward, volunteering, sending notes of gratitude or cards and smiling at strangers. It could help both individuals and communities to flourish. Is there anything you can do for someone that needs help? We can all benefit from giving or receiving an act of Kindness. Research is showing that people who are kind and compassionate are more satisfied with their lives, have better mental health and have stronger relationships.
So being kind and compassionate can help other people and make you feel good too. The more you give, the more positive you feel. So, do be kind please……