National Kindness Day

I have to laugh at some of the crazy “holidays” that are out there now… there’s Talk Like A Pirate Day, No Pants Day, Thank A Mailman Day and even a National Donut Day (okay, I’m totally on board with that one!). But one that I think we should all take seriously is the one that takes place on November 13th – National Kindness Day. In fact, I believe that this is an occasion we should be recognizing each and every day.

It’s so easy to be kind. You don’t need to make grand gestures like paying for everyone’s coffee at Starbucks or donating thousands of dollars to charity. It’s really all about the little things. For instance, you can:

  • Say thank you – and mean it! Whenever anyone holds open a door for me, I make a point of smiling at them and saying thank you. (More often than not, they’re quite surprised that someone is actually thanking them!) I also think it’s important to say thank you for those little things we usually take for granted – like when your kid empties the dishwasher or your significant other brings you a much-needed cup of tea. They’re just two little words but they go a long way in making a person feel appreciated. 

  • Pay someone a compliment. I used to think it would be weird to go up to a total stranger and tell them that I thought they had great style. Or I’d just assume that the guy at the coffee shop knew he made the best latte I’d ever had. But once I saw how good a sincere compliment made the other person feel, I decided to share the love instead of just letting it stay in my head.

  • Don’t make it about you. One of the kindest things we can do for someone else is to listen and give them our complete attention. The next time you’re having a conversation with someone, stop thinking about what clever thing you’re going to say next. Instead, keep the conversation focused on the other person. Ask them questions. Show an interest in what they have to say. And save your own stories for another time.

  • Reach out to someone – just because. You know that nice feeling you get when someone texts, emails or calls you just to say hi and see how you are? It makes you feel special, right? Do that for someone else. Let them know you’re thinking about them, even if it’s just a silly emoji that you know will make them smile.

And of course, being a kind person also includes being kind to yourself. Remember to tell yourself how awesome you are, listen to what your heart is trying to tell you, congratulate yourself on a job well done (and don’t beat yourself up when you do a crappy job).

So, here’s what I’d like you to do – I challenge you to make an effort to do  something kind for someone every day. While you might think those thoughtful little actions are no big deal, they can actually make a huge difference to someone else. Who’s up for it?  

Elle Daftarian