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World Kindness Day

How & Why We’re Building a Culture of Kindness


How & Why We’re Building a Culture of Kindness

“Being kind to our fellow human beings is a precondition to becoming truly successful. Goodness and kindness are the single most important factors when it comes to how successful we will be in our lives.”

- Stefan Einhorn, The Art of Being Kind

Too often, we hear that to be successful, we have to push ourselves (and others) to the edge. We need to work harder, study longer, sleep less, and sacrifice more.

Unfortunately, this mindset can lead to a disconnect with our loved ones, miscommunications with colleagues, impatient behavior, poor self-care, and a multitude of other issues.   

At WhyWhisper, we see success as a better world – one that is filled with opportunity, justice, and support. And we believe that making this happen doesn’t start with working harder or making more sacrifices – it starts with kindness. There’s a chain effect that occurs when we put kindness out into the world: it travels. And if we all commit to being kinder in our day-to-day lives, then as a society, we collaboratively achieve success. 

This year, our team is consciously working to develop a culture of kindness. We’re challenging ourselves to commit to, and reflect on, at least one kind act per week, with each of us defining for ourselves what kindness really means.

Here are some of our examples: 

  • Take time to stop and help someone who needs it. When someone asks for directions, or needs support crossing the street, stop and help them, kindly and patiently. Odds are, it’ll change their day.
  • Cook or buy a meal for someone who’s hungry. Instead of just brushing by the next person who asks for your support, take a minute to stop somewhere and buy them a hearty meal.
  • Write a Letter to someone who might need a little cheering up.  Too often, we forget how much it means to receive a letter of encouragement. Think of someone who’s going through a hard time (whether you know them or not), and write a note to let them know you’re in their corner.
  • Take care of yourself. When we’re busy or overwhelmed, self-care is often the first thing to go. It shouldn’t be, but it is. And the fact is, when we don’t care for ourselves, we also can’t take care of others. Think about how you can be kind to yourself, then set aside the time to do so.
  • Pick up some trash. How often do you walk by a piece of garbage on the street, slightly annoyed that people still litter? Next time that happens, instead of getting annoyed, pick it up (safely, of course).
  • Focus on your community. When we’re thinking about large-scale social impact, we can sometimes forget to consider our own communities. Who do you interact with everyday, and how can you show them kindness? Tip your local barista more than you usually would. Have a conversation with your neighborhood crossing guard. These seemingly small acts will likely have a chain reaction.

To be clear, we’re not suggesting that these small acts should take the place of working toward substantive, sustainable change. After all, providing a meal to someone who’s hungry does not solve a large-scale problem. But in that moment, it does make all the difference to that person, and that’s undoubtedly impactful.

If you’re inspired to be more conscious about kindness, we’d love for you to join us in our challenge. Follow us on social media (Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram), and post your kind acts with #WhyWhisper #workonpurpose. You can also get in touch with us via email, or in the comments below. We look forward to seeing the good that we can accomplish together this year!


The Ultimate Social Impact Reading List


The Ultimate Social Impact Reading List

The Ultimate Social Impact Reading List

When it comes to the subject of social impact, we’ve done quite a bit of reading. As you likely know, there’s a lot out there – and it can be difficult to determine which resources are worthwhile.

As such, we thought it might be helpful to share some of our favorites – and some that we’ve written ourselves – with you.  

The following list is by no means exhaustive, but if you’re looking for some reading over the holidays, check these out:

Social Impact

To start off broadly, these are some of our favorite articles and blog posts that focus on social impact in a more general sense. 

Corporate Social Responsibility

CSR is a complex and ever-evolving topic, and one that is widely discussed. These articles will help you develop an understanding of what’s happening in the space. 

Social Enterprise

The concept of doing well by doing good is changing the way that social impact intersects with business. If you’re interested in learning more, these resources are a great place to start.

Personal Habits

We’ve been talking a lot lately about how important it is to take care of yourself if you want to be effective in supporting others. It can be easier said than done, but these resources offer some great advice.

Sustainability & Environmental Responsibility

Another element of impact that directly ties into social good Is sustainability. It’s an incredibly vast topic, but these are some great resources to get you started on living more sustainably.

If you’re looking for more general resources for staying on top of what’s happening in the social impact space, try these:

Have you come across an impact-focused resource that’s been particularly helpful or informative? Share with us! We’ll add it to our list. Here’s how:


Join the Kindness Movement


Join the Kindness Movement

by Kate Vandeveld

“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:

Spread Kindness

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.


Celebrate Kind Acts 

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. 


Share Your Skills

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