‘Kindness Day’ should really be every day

November 8, 2023   ·   0 Comments


“No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted.”
– Aesop

The Dalai Lama said his religion is simply, “kindness.”
Kindness isn’t really about kind acts. It’s more about integrity, honesty, generosity and even moral courage.
Lady Gaga said kindness healed her and Jean-Jacques Rousseau said there’s no greater wisdom than kindness.
By definition, kindness is “a type of behaviour marked by acts of generosity, consideration, rendering assistance, or concern for others without expecting praise or reward in return.”
World Kindness Day is Nov. 13, dedicated to promoting and celebrating acts of kindness globally. It serves as a reminder of the positive impact each of us can have on those around us, our communities, and the world. Its purpose encourages us to perform intentional acts of kindness, compassion, and generosity.
Established in 1998 by the World Kindness Movement, a global coalition of kindness organizations, World Kindness Day encourages individuals and communities to prioritize goodwill and kindness.
Here in King, volunteerism is strong and we all know there are numerous ways individuals and communities can participate and make a positive difference in the world.
Volunteering not only helps others, it actually extends your life. It’s healthy, satisfying and beneficial.
The recent Sip & Savour gala fundraiser for the King Township Food Bank is a great example. Yes, there was a solid team of diehard volunteers who promoted, sold tickets, collected auction items and decorated Magna Hall. I’m sure there were many donations-in-kind.
But each and every one who bought a ticket and attended volunteered their time and money to support the cause. It’s because of them that the event raised a record amount.
Life today is tough, believe me I know. There are days when it’s a chore just to keep my chin up and my head held high.
But that doesn’t prevent me from performing acts of kindness. I almost always hold the door open for someone; ask if I can get that bottle of hot peppers on the top shelf, etc.
We all need to be positive and it’s so important that we keep a healthy, positive outlook on life.
Granted, it’s not easy. But even sharing inspirational and positive messages on social media to motivate others – to be kind and compassionate – can help. You never know if this makes someone’s day or helps spark change.
Many suggest donating instead of tossing. With a family of five, our trash and recycling bins are overflowing at times. But we always create donation bags – unused items, clothes and unwanted gifts. My oldest daughter makes several trips a year to a GTA woman who fills shipping containers and sends them to developing countries.
My neighbour in Bolton scours the subdivisions, looking for bicycles left at the curb for the trash collectors. He gathers them, cleans them up and then gives them to someone who sends them to other countries for kids. If you’ve ever seen children living in poverty, you know that a bicycle is worth its weight in gold.
We can surprise someone with a random act of kindness, such as buying a stranger a coffee, leaving an encouraging note or calling a friend. I think they should remove the term “random” and replace it with “mandatory.”
Kindness takes many forms and abounds within families. In February 2023, the Ontario Caregiver Organization (OCO) launched the Undercover Kindness Project to support family caregivers. These ordinary people provide physical and emotional support to a family member, partner, friend, or neighbour. OCO supports unpaid caregivers by being their one point of access to information so they have what they need to be successful in their role.
For those who’ve looked after an elderly parent or relative, you know how challenging this can be. But it’s something you just do, no questions asked. Yes, we have to dig deep, but in the end you’ll find the rewards are beyond words.
I’ve been the recipient of kindness recently. When I announced to the world in my column that I had prostate cancer, I received many calls, letters and emails from well-wishers. You definitely made my day, and my month! Several have opened up to me that they are also cancer fighters and survivors and I realized I’m part of a huge community.
My illness also made me grateful for many things, especially the little things.
Lately, my wife catches me staring, with head tilted (and mouth slightly ajar), off into the distance. I’m chilling, and cherishing the calm, peaceful moments and people around me.
I am thankful, at those quiet moments, that the puppies are relaxing and not jumping on my face and digging through my hair!
On Nov. 13, and every day that follows, let’s find ways to celebrate World Kindness Day by doing something special for someone else.
Just imagine how the would be if we spoke to people with respect and kindness.
Kindness never goes out of fashion and yet, we merely acknowledge it. We need to foster it, teach it, embrace it and show it all the time.
It’s pretty easy and we’re all capable of it.
Sure, there are times when our fellow humans are less than inspiring and can bring out the worst in us. But more often, our brothers and sisters provide hope and renewed faith.
While I’m nowhere near perfect or the epitome of humanness, I’ve always tried to be kind and respectful of others. I have found even the smallest of gestures can help make someone’s day, ease tensions and bring about smiles.
If we can help one another eliminate the small stuff, the big stuff will be easier to endure.



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