We were all taught the golden rule as kids: treat others the way you want to be treated. When we were young this meant sharing our toys, not leaving anybody out and saying please and thank you. Be kind to others and they in turn will treat you with kindness. Of course we still teach this to our kids today, but how do we as adults incorporate kindness into our day-to-day lives as a parent, friend, coworker or even as a stranger?
Be Kind to Humankind Week, celebrated each year from August 25-31, asks us to take a step back and think about the importance and impact of being kind to our fellow humankind. Research has shown kindness not only encourages empathy toward others but also brings about lasting well-being and an improved quality of life.
It can certainly be easy to get caught up in our daily routines and become overwhelmed with busy schedules and never-ending to-do lists. But sometimes all it takes is a simple act of kindness to boost our own mood while brightening somebody else's day.
Here are a few easy ways to be kind to those around you:
- Offer a kind word or compliment to a stranger
- Hold the door for somebody
- Don’t participate in office/school gossip
- Give up your seat on the train or bus
- Help somebody carry something
Already incorporating the above into your day-to-day? Here are a few other ideas that may take a bit more time, but are sure to make a big impact:
- Send a thank you card or email to somebody that helped you
- Let somebody know how special they are to you
- Help an elderly neighbor with yard or house work
- Share homemade food with a friend
- Ask if your neighbors need anything when you run to the grocery store
- Celebrate someone’s successes
- Donate food, clothing or other unused items to people in need
- Volunteer your time to help others who are less fortunate
Pick one of these items to do this week. Small or large, it will make you feel better knowing you are contributing positively to our shared world.