make kindness the norm for world kindness day

Make Kindness the Norm for World Kindness Day

Start with one day a year, but make it a habit

Good Turns is a fan of any random act of kindness, needless to say. But we also love the not-so-random acts. What better thing to plan for, after all, than being kind?

If you find it difficult to make space for kindness in your schedule, there’s an annual event that may help: It’s World Kindness Day, and it falls on November 13, this coming Wednesday. So save the date and plan to perform an act of kindness that day—and then to continue from there. As Brooke Jones, Vice President of the Random Acts of Kindness Foundation, says, “Look for ways to make kindness the norm in your daily life. World Kindness Day is a great day to begin building a new routine.”

“What if we stopped thinking about them as random acts of kindness and started thinking about them as intentional acts of kindness?”

What might that routine include? The Random Acts of Kindness Foundation has a handful suggestions for ways to start making kindness the norm in your daily life:

  • Send an uplifting text to a family member or friend.
  • Let that guy merge into traffic with a wave and a smile.
  • Include intentional moments of kindness, laughter, and delight in your daily routine.
  • Go slightly outside your comfort zone at least once a day to make someone smile.
  • Share a compliment with a co-worker or friend.
  • Reach out to a family member you haven’t spoken to in a while.
  • Treat someone to a cup of coffee (a friend, a stranger, or even yourself).

It’s enough to do any of these small random acts, of course—or anything else that occurs to you. Leave a bigger tip, give a dollar to the homeless guy you pass each day on your way to work, hold the door for someone, give up your seat on the train. It turns out kindness isn’t that much of an effort.

And yet, we still think of these moments of kindness as the exception rather than the rule. On World Kindness Day, try turning that around. As the Random Acts of Kindness Foundation puts it, trying making kindness the norm. “What if we stopped thinking about them as random acts of kindness and started thinking about them as intentional acts of kindness?” Jones wonders. What if kindness were a habit as ingrained as brushing one’s teeth or grabbing a coffee on the way to work? What if we judged everything we did against one simple test: Am I being kind?

In some ways, it’s a tall order. But you can start small. So join Good Turns on World Kindness Day, next Wednesday, November 13, and do someone a kindness. Then tell us about it, and you just may see it on the blog!

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