Today is World Kindness Day. And this year, more than most, it seems a good moment to reflect and consider how we treat ourselves and others.
Whatever our context, wherever we live, whatever our profession, we face numerous challenges every day which test our patience and resilience. The odds often seem stacked against us, we can lose perspective and feel frustrated at everything and nothing.
And then, if we are lucky, someone will show us some kindness, offer some help or support, and everything seems a little brighter, good things seem a bit more possible. Do you remember the last time someone did this for you? How did it make you feel? Odds on, it made you feel pretty good?
So today, how about flipping this around and living each day with a focus on being kind to others, making their day that bit brighter, life a bit easier. Being kind to others does not have to cost us anything and the act of giving without expecting anything in return makes us feel good. And the more we do it, the better we feel about ourselves and the more positive we are making the world for those around us.
The real trick is not to offer kindness occasionally – or random acts of kindness – but to make it a simple and everyday practice. Or what Jonathan Passmore and Lindsay Oades have described as CAKE – Consistent Acts of Kindness and Empathy.
The world at times seems more and more divided. Perhaps this is the ideal time to do something about it. Maybe not a time to have your cake and eat it, more to give CAKE each and every day?
Try it, you might just be surprised at the impact it has on you and those you come into contact with.
And on World Kindness day, or whichever day you are reading this, take a few minutes and enjoy watching these two videos – the first a short film from JD, the largest retailer in China, about it’s very cute mascot, Joy, learning about kindness, the second an award-winning RSA Shorts animation with Brene Brown on empathy.