Do you know what tomorrow is? November 13?
It’s World Kindness Day.
Haven’t heard of it?
Neither had I.
Not until I saw it on a “Content Calendar” created by Amazon for bloggers and other creatives like me. But apparently it’s been around since 1997 and even has an official flower, the Cosmos bipinnatus. Pretty little thing.
(In other news, National Button Day is coming up on Friday, November 16. Don’t miss it.)
Humor aside, perhaps we really do need a day every year to reconsider the merits of kindness. Especially now.
For clarity’s sake, let’s review the word’s definition.
Kindness is the quality or state of being kind – and that is, having a sympathetic, helpful, forbearing, or gentle nature. (Combined definitions from Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary.)
We can all think of someone we know whom we consider to be kind. And a few whom we think are not.
We also know what it feels like to extend kindness, and to be on the receiving end of such a gift.
(A door held open, a garden bouquet, or some of Mom’s fresh cookies come to mind.)
And all too often, we write off certain people as “unkind.” The truth is, they probably do the same to us. We can all seem cold and unfeeling at times.
We know what kindness is and what it isn’t – and that we don’t see true kindness nearly enough.
In today’s world, strength and power are prized over self-sacrifice and humility – two components that are necessary to make an act kind.
Kindness goes farther than tolerance, which is also touted as a modern virtue. But tolerance of others – simply living side by side with them without doing them harm – does not require the deeper level of compassion that kindness brings to interactions.
Kindness creates connections; when it’s sustained over time, it builds bonds.
Kindness is about extending grace and love. It’s meaningful because it’s a movement of the heart.
The giver’s heart touches the heart of the receiver, and both feel the tug of something more.
A vastness…the Truth.
Our hearts are connected to our souls, friends, and our souls know what’s what….
That every person is to be valued beyond measure. Every person is imprinted with the eternal.
We are here to love and be loved. And acts of kindness remind us of that.
Few of us are actually cold as stone. Most of us beat with warmth at our core.
Imagine…. if we were really convening with our hearts, souls, and Maker before we set out each day….
If every decision was based on the principle that each person unequivocally mattered….
If we always took the time to look into one another’s eyes….
And listened for as long as necessary to find common ground until we could say in all sincerity, “I sympathize. I understand.”
That would be a kind world. We wouldn’t need World Kindness Day.