“No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted.” – Aesop
The world could always use a little more kindness – and what better excuse to spread some than World Kindness Day?
Celebrated on November 13, this day is meant to inspire people to be a little kinder, however they can. It also has quite a rich history of how it came to be. This year is actually the twenty-third year of celebrating kindness!
So, how did this holiday start? And how can you celebrate? Let’s dive in.
What is World Kindness Day?
World Kindness Day was started in 1998 by the World Kindness Movement, which was founded at a conference in Tokyo the year before. At the conference, Japan brought kindness organizations from different nations together to prove how much a global kindness movement was needed. Their main mission was to inspire individuals across the world towards more kindness and creating a kinder world.
Since then, the movement has taken off. Over 27 nations with representatives participate, from Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, India, Italy, Japan, Liberia, Malaysia, Mexico, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nigeria, Oman, Pakistan, Romania, Scotland, South Africa, South Korea, Switzerland, Thailand, United Arab Emirates, Uganda, Ukraine, United Kingdom, the USA and Zimbabwe.
With so many countries on board, it’s only picking up more and more momentum with each year!
How Can You Celebrate World Kindness Day?
Don’t worry if you’re just finding out about World Kindness Day! Unlike other holidays that require some prep (like Christmas shopping, Easter baskets, or Thanksgiving feasts), you can participate in World Kindness Day with just a moment’s notice!
Here are some simple ways to spread a little kindness.
1. Smile at a stranger
2. Buy coffee for somebody behind you in line
3. Send a family member or friend an uplifting text
4. Donate to a charity – even just five dollars can make a difference!
5. Send somebody some snail mail
6. Leave money in a vending machine for somebody to find
7. Donate old clothes (bonus! Cleaning out your closet is a kindness to you also – it’s so nice to have fresh space)’
8. Lend a friend your favourite book
9. Reach out to an old friend
10. Prepare a meal for your family or friends
11. Find a new place to volunteer
12. Take your siblings out for a meal or coffee
13. Pay for a stranger’s meal at a restaurant
14. Surprise a server and leave a really big tip
15. Hold the elevator for a stranger
16. Buy flowers for somebody you care about
17. Pick up some litter you walk by
18. Bring donuts (or any snack) into the office for coworkers
19. Thank a healthcare worker for everything they do
20. Call your grandparents
21. Cut your hair and donate it
22. Bake some goods for a local retirement home (be mindful about dropoff with COVID-19!)
23. Shovel a neighbour’s driveway in the snow
24. Leave a kind note on a mirror (this is easy to do with a sticky note!)
25. Fold clothes back up at the store as you shop
26. Say thank you as much as possible
27. Donate to an animal shelter
29. Feed birds at the park
30. Volunteer to walk dogs who are waiting to be adopted
31. Write positive messages on the sidewalk with chalk
32. Buy a gift for a child in foster care
33. See if any local charities have Amazon wishlists and add an item off of it to your next Amazon order
34. Paint rocks and leave them on trails for people to enjoy
35. Let somebody go in front of you in a line
36. Call a relative just to say hello and catch up
37. Ask for a manager to say good things about their team
38. And remember to take the time to be kind to yourself!
Remember, these kind gestures don’t have to stop on November 14th! Kindness goes a long way every day – a day like World Kindness Day is just a wonderful reminder to embrace that.