Be nice! It’s International Kindness Day!
The 13th of November is International Kindness Day. I must admit, when I first heard there was a day specifically made to “be kind” I rolled my eyes and shook my head. Do we really need a day to remind us to be kind?
At first, I scoffed at this. But the more I think about it the answer is yes, we absolutely need a day when we can remember to be kind to each other and to ourselves. I have found that the smallest act of kindness can have the biggest impact on people.
I have found that most people get a bit confused when we talk about kindness. Here’s what it means to me...
It starts with you – Some people say the world is a dark and mean place. I disagree. I only think it is that if allow it to be. If you want to make the world a little kinder and brighter then consider your own actions first. Small acts often have the biggest impact on people. Giving up your seat on a train, holding a door open. Letting a harassed mother with three screaming children cut in front of you at Tesco might just make that person’s day. Think about your actions and make a small act of kindness to someone right now.
Kindness is not the same as weakness – There is a saying “nice guys finish last”. I have always read that to mean if you are kind then you can’t get a head. You can’t win, and the world will take advantage of you and your good nature. I have never really bought that. I have found that by being clear, honest and to the point with people you can balance kindness and strength. Everyone knows what is expected of them. Everyone knows where they stand. Everyone knows what good work looks like and anything less won’t be accepted.
Mental Health – Mental well being is a major topic at the moment. In the world of work, it is very easy to get caught up in targets, quotas and the general pressures of day to day life. A little trick I have learnt (and it isn’t really a trick) is to ask people how they are and is there anything I can do to help lighten their burden. That is not to say I absolve people of their responsibilities at work, but I recognize that our job is tough and mentally demanding. A bit of help and a supportive ear goes a long way.
So, happy kindness day. Go and do something kind for someone right now. You will feel great and who knows, it might just make their day.
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