Published 29 October 2021 ● Last Updated on 1 December 2021
Kindness comes in many forms. You can pay someone a compliment. You can offer a meal to a new neighbor. You can give your seat to an elderly person on the bus. There are infinite small and big acts of compassion and sensitivity towards others with which you can celebrate World Kindness Day. Celebrated on 13th November every year, this is a global observance that aims to create a kinder world.
However, this year, we urge you to be kind not only to others, but to yourself and to the planet as well. Along the lines of, “Heal the world, make it a better place for you and for me and the entire human race…”. Wondering where to start? Here you go,
1. Kindness begins at home
“Be kind to yourself so that you can be happy enough to be kind to the world” – Misha Collins, American Actor
Yes, you read it right, begin with yourself. The demands of everyday life coupled with uncertainty of the pandemic has significantly affected our physical and mental health. Being kinder to yourself can help to reduce anxiety and boost your ability to meet the challenges of everyday life, which in turn will improve your relationships with others around you. Here are few ways:
- Take out time every day (however little) to do something that you love. It can be talking to a friend, reading a book or even watching Netflix. More importantly, own that time and don’t feel guilty about taking that much deserved break.
- Give yourself a pat on the back for all achievements- however big or small. Building a positive self-image is key to treating yourself kindly.
- Remember it’s okay to put your needs and wants above others sometimes. You don’t have to live your life according to others’ notions of success and failures.
- Become your own benchmark of achievements and remember we are all different – this will help you keep things in perspective. Don’t compare!
2. Kindness increases by sharing with others
“No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted” – Aesop “The Lion and the Mouse”
A 2019 survey by NVPC (National Volunteer and Philanthropy Centre) found that 79% of Singaporeans engage in everyday acts of kindness or ‘micro-givings’. Given the strong correlation between kindness & volunteering, kindness & mental health, and kindness & work morale, we are definitely a part of a kind society. If you are still looking for ideas to show generosity and show that you care, here are a few:
- Give compliments a free reign. Be it a disgruntled family member, a colleague or a complete stranger,an unexpected compliment will lift their spirit and make you feel great about yourself too. In a world where social media trolling is common place, drop someone a positive message instead to start a chain of positivity!
- Next time you go out for a meal or a coffee, leave a generous tip for the server and the valet. And yes, don’t forget to make eye contact and smile as you thank them.
- Help a senior citizen in your neighborhood by taking their dog out for a walk, helping them cross the road or by just spending some time chatting with them. If you see an elderly person on the bus, be gracious and offer them your seat.
- What is waste for you might be useful to someone else struggling to meet their basic needs. Consider donating clothes, household items and non-perishable food. Here’s a guide for places to donate in Singapore.
3. Planet Earth needs our kindness too
“And so I try and be kind to everything I see, and in everything I see, I see Him” – Hanya Yanagihara, American Novelist
As you go about opening doors for strangers and smiling at passersby, consider a few acts of kindness for the planet too. She can definitely use it. Here are simple ways to show kindness for the environment:
- Embrace vegetarianism to cut the negative impact of what you eat on the environment. Start by forgoing meat once a week or even for one meal in a week. Follow these handy tips and smoothen the transition to a plant-based diet.
- Are you worried about the increasing amount of marine pollution? Stop worrying and instead, participate in a clean-up drive to free your neighbourhood and your beaches of the litter disfiguring it.
- Inculcate a zero-waste lifestyle in all your daily practices be it cleaning or cooking.
- Support plastic-busting initiatives and carry zero-waste essentials such as reusable water bottles and carry bags.
Give kindness a try
After the travails of the past year and a half, the world, you and the planet can do with a little bit of kindness. The list above is in no way an exhaustive one, but more of a starting point for you to get going. The important thing is for you to start, even if its baby steps, towards a kinder world.