Every year on November 13th, a wave of warmth and care sweeps across the globe for World Kindness Day. This special day began in 1998, introduced by the World Kindness Movement, with the aim to highlight kind and caring acts. On this day, people are encouraged to perform good deeds (helpful, caring or kind actions done for someone without them expecting anything in return) and contribute to creating a kinder world. Here are some useful expressions and ideas that you might find helpful.
What does it mean to be kind?
The Oxford Dictionary says that to be kind, is to be caring, gentle, friendly and generous.
A good way to be kind, particularly on World Kindness Day, is to pay it forward. This means to do something kind for someone, and instead of them paying you back directly, they do something kind for someone else. It’s like a chain of kindness, where each person benefits from someone’s act of kindness and then chooses to be kind to someone else in turn.
Let’s look at ways we can pay it forward, with these useful expressions and ideas for World Kindness Day.
Ideas for spreading kindness
- Actively listen: This means showing genuine interest when others speak. Everyone likes to be seen and heard, so offer your full attention.
- Give compliments: This is when you tell someone something positive about them in a meaningful way. You can do this by looking for reasons to sing someone’s praises (to speak very highly of someone, often in front of others). A simple, sincere compliment can lift someone’s spirits (make them happier) and make someone’s day (to do something that pleases someone).
- Leave positive notes, because positivity can be contagious (when a positive attitude or behavior can spread from one person to another). A cheerful message can turn a routine day into an extraordinary one. Write positive messages for a colleague to find, to put a smile on their face (to make someone smile).
- Send a supportive email. A few words of encouragement (phrases or sentences that you say or write to someone to give them confidence and support) can act as a much-needed boost (an increase or lift in someone’s mood).
- Communicate: Reach out to (contact) a neighbour or someone you know who may be feeling isolated. Your company could turn their loneliness into happiness.
- Go the extra mile (do more than what is required or expected in order to help someone or to achieve something) to check in and make sure people around you are happy.
- Make donations: This is when you give away books, clothes and things you no longer need. Your unwanted items can be precious to someone else. You could give them to someone you know, or perhaps a shop that resells these items.
Laugh often. It releases chemicals in your body that make you feel good. Laughter is the best medicine (a proverb that suggests laughing and having a good sense of humour can be very beneficial for your health and wellbeing).
- Always look on the bright side of things (to focus on the positive aspects of a situation, rather than the negative ones).
- Be kind to yourself, by looking in the mirror and saying three positive things about you. These could be things you’re proud of, things you’ve done that day or week, or steps you’ve taken towards achieving a longer-term goal.
As World Kindness Day approaches, let’s remind ourselves that kindness begins with one. With one person, one action and one intention to make a difference. Whether it’s lending an ear (listening to someone who needs it), offering words of support or sharing what we can, each act of kindness has a positive impact.
Now, it’s your turn! Share your ideas and experiences in the comments below – what acts of kindness will you do or has someone done for you?
Write the correct word or phrase from the World Kindness Day blog to match the meaning. Use the first letter to help you.
- A______: to focus on the positive aspects of a situation, rather than the negative ones.
- S______: to speak very highly of someone, often in front of others.
- P______: to do something kind for someone, and instead of them paying you back directly, they do something kind for someone else.
- A______: showing genuine interest when others speak.
- W______: phrases or sentences that you say or write to someone to give them confidence and support.
- R______: to contact someone.
- M______: when you give away books, clothes and things you no longer need.
- G______: do more than what is required or expected in order to help someone or to achieve something
- L______: a proverb that suggests laughing and having a good sense of humour can be very beneficial for your health and wellbeing
- G______: helpful, caring or kind actions done for someone without them expecting anything in return
- Always look on the bright side.
- Sing someone’s praises.
- Pay it forward.
- Actively listen.
- Words of encouragement.
- Reach out.
- Make donations.
- Go the extra mile.
- Laughter is the best medicine.
- Good deeds.
Billie Jago is an ELT writer and teacher trainer, specialising in digital & assessments. She is the founder of the professional development podcast ELTcpd and co-founder of the digital ELT content agency, otterelt.