World Kindness Day: The queen of people’s hearts

5th November 2020

UKZN Extended Learning

– by Nkosingiphile Ntshangase

In a society that promotes self-indulgence, exhibiting compassion and kindness can be perceived as scarce traits. The impact a simple act of kindness yields, is far beyond what can be seen by the eye. Someone who fully embodied this principle was none other than Princess Diana. Being a part of the royal family seemed to be lesser on her list of priorities, and serving the people came first. Princess Diana dedicated her life to improving the lives of others through selfless acts and spreading love, consistently going above and beyond her call of duty (sometimes contravening royal decorum and protocol) to show empathy towards those less fortunate. The legacy she has left behind is that of leadership, resilience, kindness, and strength.

World Kindness Day is a global day that promotes the importance of being kind to each other, to yourself, and the world. This initiative was first launched in 1998 by The World Kindness Movement. Organisations of like-minded people gathered at a 1997 Tokyo conference to form a collaborative effort towards the World Kindness Movement. This conference has united various institutions and associations based in countries including Australia, Thailand, the United States of America, and the United Kingdom, dedicated to championing kindness in society. In 2019, the organisation registered as an official NGO under Swiss law. The 13th of November serves as a reminder to make the world a better place through kindness and spreading love by celebrating World Kindness Day. The purpose of this day is to highlight and encourage good deeds in your community. It also serves as a reminder to all that simple acts of kindness have power and that together, we can all work to create a better world. Showing compassion and understanding towards the next person can make a significant difference. Even if you do not see the immediate effects of your actions, it creates a ripple effect one can’t begin to imagine. This day is to inspire everyone to believe that we can make a global difference one act at a time.

Kindness should be something that is engaged in every single day, here are some ideas and simple ways to do this:

  • Smile when you walk by others
  • Call a relative you haven’t spoken to in a while 
  • Pick up trash you see on the ground outside and throw it in a garbage can
  • Hold the door open for someone
  • Compliment someone
  • Send a positive or encouraging text to five people in your contacts
  • Surprise someone with flowers
  • Tell a family member or friend you love them
  • Plant a tree
  • Spend less time on your phone and more time with people you care about
  • Practice gratitude
  • Volunteer

The wonderful thing about being kind is that it does not cost a thing. Even the simplest of actions can make a difference in someone’s day, if not your own. Practice kindness with your loved ones, at the workplace, or at school. You can find plenty of opportunities to sprinkle some positivity throughout your day.

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