Katie Cavanna: Acts of kindness make the world a better place

The World Kindness Movement logo

World Kindness Day was first launched in 1998 by The World Kindness Movement - Credit: The World Kindness Movement

In a world that seems to be getting more and more divided, it can feel like there’s not much you can do.

And yet, we all know that doing small acts of kindness for strangers or people in need is one of the best ways to make the world a better place.

It doesn’t take much effort but it has an incredible impact on those around us.

That’s why World Kindness Day was created – so you could celebrate good deeds on this special day and inspire others to follow your example!

On November 13 each year, people from around the globe come together to create a chain reaction of compassion by performing random acts of kindness for total strangers.

You don’t even have to leave your house or spend any money – just do something nice for someone else!

The goal is simple – spread as many smiles as possible across our planet by encouraging everyone who participates in World Kindness Day 2021, and beyond, to perform at least.

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The world seems a different place from a year ago.

Yes, the aftermath of a global pandemic can be felt still, but as one retail assistant mentioned to me: “Everyone seems angry, far less tolerant.”

You cannot fail to have notice the signs that have become permanent fixtures in public places such as supermarkets and restaurants, reminding people to be ‘kind’ to their staff.

It seems pretty ridiculous that we have to be told that – surely it’s a given?

What has happened to us all? 

World Kindness Day is celebrated annually on November 13. On this day, participants attempt to make the world a better place by celebrating and promoting good deeds and pledging acts of kindness, either as individuals or as organisations.

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.

I had a conversation with a friend last week, where we discussed what had happened to both kindness and respect to each other.

Skimming through certain social media pages, it is evident that there is a pattern there for humans to be unkind, often in a faceless way.

We asked whether the words used on a platform such as Facebook or Twitter would be used in person towards their ‘target’? I doubt it.

From celebrities, sport stars, to local people trying to make a difference in their community – many have experienced unkind and frankly unnecessary attention from others. 

I refuse to be drawn into unkind dialogue, that’s not who we are.

If you look around, there is always kindness and ultimately good.

We have so much of that in Torbay; and for that I am grateful.

I will always look for those who want to help, for those who want to do good and for those who want to be kind.

Being kind doesn’t need to look or be extravagant. Here a few simple ideas on what you can do this World Kindness Day:

  • smile when you walk by others
  • call a relative you haven’t spoken to for a while
  • hold the door open for someone
  • chat with a stranger and ask them about their day
  • compliment someone
  • send a positive or encouraging text to five people in your contacts
  • tell a family member or friend you love them
  • spend less time on your phone and more time with the people you care about
  • take time for your self
  • practice gratitude
  • give someone a hug.

Kindness is free and can change someone’s world. In reality, we shouldn’t need a designated day for it.