Be Kind or Be Quiet


There is a group, made up of people from around the world, that exists for one purpose: spreading kindness.

The World Kindness Movement is a real thing and this year, on November 13, they want you to jump on their bandwagon for World Kindness Day.

Kindness is such a rarity that this group felt the need to launch an awareness campaign, complete with instructions – a list of ways you can practice kindness. What’s amazing is that being kind can be as simple as smiling at someone, or as involved as volunteering at an animal shelter.

On this designated day of observance, some people like to take kindness to a new level by performing random acts of kindness. This is when you do something for someone else, with no expectation of getting anything in return. This is also a great tactic if you have some tough guy reputation to uphold, because you can keep these random acts anonymous.

Perusing the articles posted on the World Kindness website, I was struck by one that put kindness under the microscope: “The Difference Between Real and Fake Kindness.” Yikes! Not only does this author want you to be kind to others on November 13, he wants you to mean it, too.

Being nice to get a better seat on the airplane or to make someone like you apparently does not count. This goodness, coming from you, must not benefit you in any way other than the joy of bringing joy to another human (or animal).

Apparently, each World Kindness Day has a theme and for 2020, it’s empathy – feeling the pains of others. We need this day this year, perhaps, more than ever. But this movement has been around since 1997. It began in Japan, when a group of kindness organizations from around the world gathered and decided, “Hey, we need our own day,” or something to that effect.

The first World Kindness Day was observed in 1998. I am just guessing, but, more than likely, this group was thinking at the time, “We need kindness now, more than ever,” just as I am thinking that it is actually NOW that we need kindness more than ever.

The truth is, kindness is always a good thing. In this world, we always need people to reach out, to be empathetic, to do good deeds – every day, not just on November 13. This means that if you can’t participate on the 13th because you already planned on being really self-centered that day, you can make it up on another day. Cool, right?

It really is as simple as smiling at someone you don’t know, letting a car merge in during heavy traffic, opening a door for someone, or giving an honest compliment.

Still feel like you cannot muster a little kindness? Well, then, just be quiet. You can participate in World Kindness Day by simply not being the opposite of kind, which for many people, means simply zipping the old lips. You can do that for just the one day, and you don’t even have to be nice about it. Just be quiet.

ulkas /


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