Contributor Post Created with Sketch. World Kindness Day

 

Okay, so it seems like every time we turn around, there’s another “special day” commemorating everything from hot dogs to potato chips. But I just learned that Wednesday was “World Kindness Day,” and my heart opened.

World Kindness Day was first launched in 1998 by The World Kindness Movement, 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.

For some people, this promotion will seem tacky and maudlin. But I’m realizing more and more that kindness can be a rare commodity in our culture. We all are so busy lamenting the state of the world, observing the suffering that goes on, condemning the narcissism that dominates the government, the media, and the universities, that it’s hard to embrace the basics. Simple acts of kindness are healing, for the giver and receiver.

One of the classic examples of kindness was Mr. Rogers, who died in 2003. His sweet and gentle qualities were always a reminder that kindness is one antidote to loneliness and sadness.

I’ve been blessed with many kind people in my life. And when I look around me, I see a few examples: Rabbi Jonathan Sacks, Mother Theresa, the people who hire veterans for their companies, those who treat people who suffer from devastating diseases.

So I think World Kindness Day is well worth contemplating. Who are the kind people you celebrate, who are either famous, work behind the scenes, or who are in your life?

Published in Culture
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There are 12 comments.

  1. GrannyDude Member

    I had a sudden vision of an unborn baby wearing a cardigan and saying “please won’t you be my neighbor?” 

     

    • #1
    • November 14, 2019, at 6:45 AM PST
    • 6 likes
  2. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn Post author

    GrannyDude (View Comment):

    I had a sudden vision of an unborn baby wearing a cardigan and saying “please won’t you be my neighbor?”

     

    Oh @GrannyDude, you’ve opened my heart again. What a lovely image. Thank you.

    • #2
    • November 14, 2019, at 6:58 AM PST
    • 2 likes
  3. MarciN Member

    My kids are taking me to see the new Mr. Rogers movie over Thanksgiving weekend. Mr. Rogers is being portrayed by Tom Hanks, one of my very favorite actors. I really enjoyed Saving Mr. Banks in which Tom Hanks played Walt Disney.

    When they announced their plan to force me to go because they know I will love it–it’s really hard to tear myself away from the house when the kids are here because I am usually just trying to keep up with the dishes and not interested to go out–I was excited. I didn’t know anything about the new movie. So I watched the trailer, and then I spent a couple of hours watching other Fred Rogers clips on YouTube.

    This is his commencement speech to Dartmouth in May 2002. I don’t know for sure, but as soon as I saw the date, I guessed that it was Fred Rogers’ advice to children and parents after the terrorist attacks in September 2001 that had touched everyone that had motivated the Dartmouth trustees to invite him to be their commencement speaker. Mr. Rogers had said, “Always look for the helpers.” (I remember this clip going around the Internet in the days after the attack, but I cannot find it on YouTube labeled as such. But it did give parents a way to talk to their children about it and other horrible disasters. God bless Mr. Rogers.)

    Halfway into this report on the aftermath of the Pittsburgh Synagogue Shooting, Jenna Bush talks about his legacy.

    I was feeling really low one Christmas–just wishing I had a lot more money in my checkbook than I had. “God, why didn’t you send me the bank account to go with these incredible kids you’ve sent my way!!!!” But the thing about being a parent is that you can’t allow your worried or unhappy feelings to show. I had to find a way to cheer myself up. So I embarked on a secret-good-deed project for the two weeks leading up to Christmas. Every day I did something for someone secretly that would make the person a little happier. I forget what they were, but it became a fun exercise. It took me back to the days when I was a little Brownie scout and doing good deeds on a regular basis. :-) At any rate, I learned those weeks that kindness is a boomerang. :-)

    Count me in for supporting World Kindness Day.

    • #3
    • November 14, 2019, at 9:46 AM PST
    • 9 likes
  4. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn Post author

    I don’t want people to assume that only people who do the extraordinary acts are the ones we want to celebrate as kind people. My husband is one of the kindest people I know: he’s patient, funny, generous, helpful. I have many kind neighbors whom I wouldn’t hesitate to ask for help if I needed it. I have friends who encourage me and praise me, and an interesting act of kindness is when they argue with me when I am hard on myself–that’s kindness, too, the way they do that.

    • #4
    • November 14, 2019, at 9:48 AM PST
    • 2 likes
  5. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn Post author

    MarciN (View Comment):

    My kids are taking me to see the new Mr. Rogers movie over Thanksgiving weekend. Mr. Rogers is being portrayed by Tom Hanks, one of my very favorite actors. I really enjoyed Saving Mr. Banks in which Tom Hanks played Walt Disney.

    When they announced their plan to force me to go because they know I will love it–it’s really hard to tear myself away from the house when the kids are here because I am usually just trying to keep up with the dishes and not interested to go out–I was excited. I didn’t know anything about the new movie. So I watched the trailer, and then I spent a couple of hours watching other Fred Rogers clips on YouTube.

    This is his commencement speech to Dartmouth in May 2002. I don’t know for sure, but as soon as I saw the date, I guessed that it was Fred Rogers’ advice to children and parents after the terrorist attacks in September 2001 that had touched everyone that had motivated the Dartmouth trustees to invite him to be their commencement speaker. Mr. Rogers had said, “Always look for the helpers.” (I remember this clip going around the Internet in the days after the attack, but I cannot find it YouTube labeled as such. But it did give parents a way to talk to their children about it and other horrible disasters. God bless Mr. Rogers.)

    Halfway into this report on the aftermath of the Pittsburgh Synagogue Shooting, Jenna Bush talks about his legacy.

    Count me in for supporting World Kindness Day.

    I was feeling really low one Christmas–just wishing I had a lot more money in my checkbook than I had. “God, why didn’t you send me the bank account to go with these incredible kids you’ve sent my way!!!!” But the thing about being a parent is that you can’t allow your worried or unhappy feelings to show. I had to find a way to cheer myself up. So I embarked on a secret-good-deed project for the two weeks leading up to Christmas. Every day I did something for someone secretly that would make the person a little happier. I forget what they were, but it became a fun exercise. It took me back to the days when I was a little Brownie scout and doing good deeds on a regular basis. :-) At any rate, I learned those weeks that kindness is a boomerang. :-)

    @marcin–what an amazing tribute to kindness! A rich comment with the fullness of a post! The bolded paragraph is super, too. It reminds us that when we are kind toward others that the recipients not only benefit, but we benefit even more (I think!) Thank you!

    • #5
    • November 14, 2019, at 9:51 AM PST
    • 3 likes
  6. Stad Thatcher

    Susan Quinn: One of the classic examples of kindness was Mr. Rogers

    I read because he was so nice, the TV crew loved to play jokes on him. I once rented a VHS blooper reel which included a shot from his “Neighborhood”. The crew arranged to have a naked woman (off camera behind a building front) do something like deliver the mail. Fred smiles into the camera, then goes to retrieve the mail. The look on his face was priceless!

    • #6
    • November 14, 2019, at 10:35 AM PST
    • 3 likes
  7. Manny Member

    This commemoration day should be more promoted. In thinking about it, some of my best days are days where I did something kind for someone. Besides helping someone that may need a favor, which is the more important thing, it actually feels good to do good. ;)

    • #7
    • November 14, 2019, at 10:37 AM PST
    • 4 likes
  8. Chris Hutchinson Coolidge

    Susan Quinn: But I’m realizing more and more that kindness can be a rare commodity in our culture.

    Yes, unfortunately. I tell my kids every day when dropping them off at school that I care much more about them being kind to their classmates and teacher than getting good grades.

    • #8
    • November 14, 2019, at 12:04 PM PST
    • 6 likes
  9. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn Post author

    Chris Hutchinson (View Comment):

    Susan Quinn: But I’m realizing more and more that kindness can be a rare commodity in our culture.

    Yes, unfortunately. I tell my kids every day when dropping them off at school that I care much more about them being kind to their classmates and teacher than getting good grades.

    That’s wonderful, Chris. Good for you, and good for your kids.

    • #9
    • November 14, 2019, at 1:12 PM PST
    • 2 likes
  10. SpiritO'78 Member

    I’d nominate people who work in ministry and those who coach little league and youth football. Both are thankless (essentially volunteer) and require a lot more heart and hassle than I’ve got time for. 

    • #10
    • November 14, 2019, at 2:22 PM PST
    • 3 likes
  11. ShaunaHunt Member

    I won the Kindness Lottery yesterday from Ricochet! Thank you!

    • #11
    • November 14, 2019, at 2:26 PM PST
    • 6 likes
  12. Aaron Miller Member

    Humbug!

    I mean, Merry Christmas!

    No, I mean… aw, shucks.

    Seriously, merely smiling can be a great gift of kindness. I know terminally joyful people who prompt smiles wherever they go just by making an effort to cheerfully engage every person they meet. It’s wondrous to behold.

    • #12
    • November 14, 2019, at 2:40 PM PST
    • 5 likes