Today is World Kindness Day. Thinking of kindnesses received often brings smiles to our faces. This day came as a result of a movement that started in Switzerland in 1998 and grew to include over 28 other nations. Its moto is to “pledge to join together to build a kinder and more compassionate world.”
Is kindness all that important? One in four children in the USA experience bullying in school on a regular basis. Both the children bullied and those doing the bullying could benefit from some compassion. Studies show that people who regularly show kindness produce 23% less cortisol, a stress hormone. All of us could use less stress in our lives.
There’s other health benefits as well. Kindness increases our feel-good hormones: serotonin, endorphins, and oxytocin. We feel more energized, calmer, happier and loved. Being kind to another can lower our blood pressure, decrease our aches and pains, and increase our confidence. It’s no surprise that kind people live longer.
Kindness doubles when you share it. Imagine passing a kind act on and then it moving on to another and another, perhaps your entire workplace, community, or maybe even around the world. Wouldn’t that be wonderful!
A few years ago the “pass it on” movement became popular. People paid for meals for the person behind them at a fast food drive thru. I remember a story about that time where the cashier at a drive thru window counted 54 consecutive people who paid for someone else’s meal. Fifty-four in a row, without a break. Amazing! I once had someone ahead of me at a grocery store pay for my groceries. I was so surprised … and grateful!
Tim Tebow recently went to visit some people who were homeless. He brought with him 50 pairs of new shoes, but found out that he didn’t have enough. So he took off the shoes he was wearing, gave them away, and then asked for a list of those people who did not receive shoes and later sent them new ones.
World Kindness Day usually passes without notice. In our fractured world, let’s make a change this year. Would someone you know appreciate a call, a card in the mail, a text or email? How about a gift to the cashier at a fast food drive thru? Letting someone ahead of you in line in the grocery store? A box of chocolates delivered to your local EMTs, firemen or police officers? Or a special treat for your family at home? Or an extra-long hug to your loved one? Giving something as simple as a compliment can make a person’s day. Or just listening. There are so many ways to show others we care, to lift them up, and these kindnesses are so needed during these challenging days.
The kindest thing you can do for anyone is to tell them about Jesus. God came to earth and paid the price for sin so that we could go to heaven. All anyone needs to do is A – admit they are a sinner; B – believe that Jesus came, died to save them from the consequences of sin and then rose from the grave; and C – confess their sin and commit to following Jesus as LORD of their life.
I give a special thanks to God for my readers. Have a great time celebrating World Kindness Day.