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Kindness Ripples Unforeseen Blessing

Wong Shu Lee  


  November 13, 2021

Celebrated on November 13 each year, World Kindness Day is a global day that promotes the importance of being kind to each other, to yourself, and to the world. The purpose of this observance is to help everyone understand that compassion for others is what binds us all together. 


We focus on ourselves out of need. How does this impact me? How do I relate to this situation? What’s in it for me? We’re living in a world that everyone is focusing on his/herself. But sometimes something gets lost in translation along the way.


Kindness is caring about others and doing things to help make their lives better. It allows us to connect with other people and build meaningful relationships. ​​When someone does us a kind act, we feel connected and more willing to cooperate with them. When we do something nice for someone, we cultivate trust, and we feel good about ourselves for being a kind person.


Kindness and “niceness” are often considered interchangeable, but kindness goes deeper. Its layers include generosity, compassion, and empathy. When challenged by an often-cruel world, kindness also takes significant effort and emotional strength. It’s a choice that can take many forms. 


In the world at large, we have seen so much pain and heartbreak. So many lives needlessly ended. So much heartbreak and loss. It’s a normal reaction to want to protect yourself from all of that horror and isolate yourself into your own safe space. The problem is that when everyone does that, we lose truly important connections with our community and even ourselves. 


Showing kindness to others can be as simple as smiling at others. When you smile at others, you trigger a smile back. Smiling is contagious and has a positive effect on our mental health. It makes people feel better and acknowledged. Complimenting others is also an easy way to show kindness. It helps others feel seen, releasing a boost of endorphins associated with the reward centers of the brain. 


Sometimes, being kind is just as much about what you don’t choose to do. Not gossiping or not joining in with workplace bullies are pretty obvious ways to be kind.  Perhaps you don’t need to make that witty sarcastic comment that would hurt someone’s feelings. 


If something seems like an unkind thing to do, stop and ask yourself if it’s necessary or kind. Can you find a different way forwards, instead? Or can you even just do nothing at all?


Kindness is a two-way street. It’s a back and forth that strengthens our bond with friends, family, lovers, co-workers, and acquaintances. The more we practice kindness, the easier it is. 


Ultimately, kindness is a fundamental part of the human condition which bridges the divides of race, religion, politics, gender, and location. Our world could be a better place if we focused more on kindness towards one another. 


Let’s practice kindness! 


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