“Unexpected kindness is the most powerful, least costly, and most underrated agent of human change.” - Bob Kerrey
When thinking about impact, large-scale initiatives and world changing projects often come to mind. We think about reducing poverty, creating jobs, and lobbying for policy change. But when it comes down to it, our day-to-day impact on the people with whom we interact and care for is just as crucial in creating a better world.
We’re not trying to simplify the very complex and intricate processes that lead to social change, but just being consciously kinder to those around us can be hugely impactful.
That’s why we’re excited about World Kindness Day, taking place tomorrow, November 13th. World Kindness Day is a 24-hour celebration dedicated to focusing on the good. A number of campaigns have cropped up around the idea that kindness matters.
If you want to spread the word about and join the official kindness movement yourself, here are some of our favorite campaigns and initiatives:
As we mentioned, World Kindness Day is going down tomorrow, November 13th. Started by the Random Acts of Kindness Foundation, this 24-hour period is focused solely on spreading kindness. On this day, they encourage you to join the movement by sharing a kindness quote (you can even use the designs they’ve created for you!) and doing things from a list of “kindness activities” that they have compiled. They offer a variety of ideas and quotes, for those who are looking for inspiration.
The best way to spread the kindness movement is simply by recognizing kind acts when you see or experience them. Taking a minute to say thank you to a person who you see being kind calls out and reinforces those acts. KIND Snacks is taking it a step further, celebrating those acts of kindness with their #kindawesome campaign. Here’s how it works: When you see someone being kind, give them a #kindawesome card, either in person or digitally, and the company will send them a free KIND snack. Encourage them to pass it on to someone else they see being kind, to keep the kindness going. The campaign provides a tangible way to recognize kindness, which we think is pretty cool.
If you want to learn about and discuss different ways to celebrate World Kindness Day, KIND Snacks is also hosting a Twitter chat with Upworthy this Friday. Join the conversation with #UpChat and #kindawesome from 1-2pm EST tomorrow, November 13th.
Do you have a skillset you’d like to apply to a good cause in your spare time, but you don’t know where to get started? Check out Skillshare. Skillshare connects individuals with organizations that need help. The assistance is voluntary, and projects are short-term, so you can make a big impact, without the long-term commitment.
Become a Mentor
Remember when you were at the very beginning of your career? If you’re like us, you probably experienced moments when you felt a bit lost – unsure what you wanted to do, or how to advance once you had found your path. If you feel like you have some wisdom to pass on, consider joining a mentoring program. Do a little research around mentorship programs in your city, and they’ll pair you up with someone who could use your advice and encouragement.
Pay it Forward
The concept of paying it forward is extremely powerful: when you’re the recipient of kindness, do another kind act for someone else in return. We saw a beautiful pay it forward campaign, inspired by 18-year-old Alyssa Josephine O’Neill, who died of epilepsy in 2013. As a tribute to their daughter, her parents bought a round of coffees for strangers and asked that her initials, #AJO, be written on their orders. This sparked what would turn into a national movement of small gestures to pay it forward that continues to this day. Whether you participate in the #AJO movement, or simply go out of your way to do something kind for a stranger, a small act of kindness can go a long way.
Give Back to Your Community
Each community has unique needs. Have you noticed a need in your area that you feel like you could address in some capacity? Maybe you live in a city where it gets particularly cold in the winter, and you could organize a cold weather drive to provide blankets and winter gear to those who need it. Or maybe you could become a tutor at a school. Do some research on your local community needs, and see what you might be able to do to help.
Do you know of another kindness initiative that you’d like us to share with the rest of the WhyWhisper community? Send us an email, tweet to us at @WhyWhisperCo, or comment below – we’d love to spread the word.
"A purpose of human life, no matter who is controlling it, is to love whoever is around to be loved." - Kurt Vonnegut