World Kindness Week

World Kindness day is November 13 (yesterday), and World Kindness Week begins the Monday of the week with November 13. After the events of the last few years, and the many years crammed into 2020, kindness is needed now more than ever. There are a couple of Buddhist sayings that always come to mind when speaking of kindness. The first is, ‘Be kind whenever possible. It’s always possible.’ And the second is, ‘Be kind to all creatures. This is the true religion.’ Kindness is the quality of being friendly and considerate. There are many who believe kindness is a weakness and these are the people who would do harm to others.

When someone is kind to you, it can lift your spirits and put a smile on your face. What happens to you if you’re kind to others? Some benefits for a person who is kind to others include elevation of dopamine levels in the brain, which make us feel good. It can also include the feeling of emotional warmth leading to a healthier heart, reduction of inflammation slowing the aging process, reduction of emotional distance helping couples feel bonded, and contagiousness that often sets off a pay-it-forward ripple effect. There’s one important message I have for everyone regarding kindness. Always be kind to others and always be kind to yourself. That last part is harder than people think. Be kind.

National Day of Encouragement

Sometimes a few kind, uplifting words from someone make a difficult situation better. Sometimes encouragement comes from friends or family. Other times it might come from a total stranger. I’m a fan of the phrase “Be kind whenever possible. It’s always possible.” Encouraging others is another form of kindness. Mayor Belinda LaForce of Searcy, Arkansas proclaimed the first Day of Encouragement on August 22, 2007. The project began as the brainchild from the Encouragement Foundation at Harding University in Searcy. A month later, Governor Mike Beebe, proclaimed September 12, 2007 the “State Day of Encouragement for Arkansas. Later President George W. Bush made September 12th the National Day of Encouragement.

How does one participate in this national holiday? Encourage others. Reassure, inspire, or tell someone how important they are to you. Think about someone other than yourself and say a few kind words to them. If someone feels like giving up, tell them to keep trying. Or at least listen to them vent their frustrations. Sometimes having someone listen is enough to encourage someone to keep fighting. At some point in our lives, we all need encouragement. We all need a little push to see the positive and keep going when all hope is lost. If you’re struggling, things will get better. Even if it doesn’t look like they will.