This Wednesday, February 17 is Random Acts of Kindness Day.
But what is it? It’s a day to celebrate being kind to others. Like World Kindness Day, Random Acts of Kindness Day is all about being aware of kindness in your daily life. It means going through life slower: letting someone merge in front of you, holding the door for someone behind you, or stopping to talk to someone who seems lost or lonely (keeping your social distance, of course). Random Acts of Kindness Day is a helpful reminder to pay it forward and connect with people – both those we love and those we don’t yet know.
Even if you do not think you do random acts of kindness every day, I am here to tell you that you do. Have you worn a mask in public? Have you practiced social distancing? Do you wash or sanitize your hands when you go inside? Have you started working from home? Have you made some sort of accommodation to keep vulnerable people in your community safe? The answer is probably yes because we are all facing the coronavirus pandemic, and we are all working together to slow the spread.
Random Acts of Kindness Day is a chance to do an act of kindness on purpose, with intention. Just like how wearing a mask outside has become second nature, doing random acts of kindness can become part of your routine. All it takes is an extra 5-10 minutes to go out of your way for someone: whether that’s paying for a coffee for the person behind you, reaching out to someone you haven’t spoken to recently, or sending a card to your grandmother.
Why share your acts of kindness on our world map? Sharing the acts of kindness you do daily makes a difference. We go through life so distracted by everyday tasks (what to make for dinner, what to say at that meeting, worrying about the future or regretting the past), that sometimes we don’t notice how many incredible things are going on around us. Everywhere people are being kind: donating, volunteering, giving back, bringing their partner a cup of tea on a rainy day. It’s easy to miss. It’s important to notice.
By sharing these kindnesses on our world map, we focus on the positive. These moments bring hope and even boost our health. Kindness is good for you: from lowering blood pressure to increasing longevity. It’s good for our mental health because kindness affects the pleasure centre in our brain and even releases oxytocin, the hormone that regulates social interactions and emotion. Plus, kindness is good for our hearts. It helps with loneliness. It makes us feel more connected. So share your random acts of kindness and know you are contributing to the snowball effect of kindness. The more you share, the more you inspire, the more kindness you create.