“You cannot do a kindness too soon, for you never know how soon it will be too late.” -Ralph Waldo Emerson
In a world that seems to highlight conflict, violence, and tragedies over optimism and compassion, it becomes increasingly important to call attention to goodness when it is being spread. One such initiative is the unofficial holiday, Random Acts of Kindness Day, which typically falls on February 17th. Many organizations and groups in the past have actually promoted an entire week devoted to random acts of kindness, and developed resources to further that cause.
But this year’s commemorative week looks a little different. The Random Acts of Kindness Foundation, one of the major organizations that usually leads the march on this endeavor, seems to have a different call to action brewing. Go to their homepage and instead of finding resources or information about how to participate in Random Acts of Kindness Week, you’ll find a massive bright orange banner that reads:
“Let’s make 2016 the year of kindness.”
So instead of only promoting acts of kindness for one week or one day out of the year, The Random Acts of Kindness Foundation seems to have focused their efforts on spreading thoughtfulness and love into all 365 days of the calendar year. As part of their mission, they are also promoting RAKtivists, or Random Acts of Kindness activists, to help develop a compassionate global community – which we feel is truly the ultimate example of a Lead the Way initiative.
At Dignity & Respect, Inc., we are excited by efforts that promote empathy and spread inclusion. Even though we support and celebrate Random Acts of Kindness Day, we too believe that kindness should be a constant effort.
What Kindness Can Do
It’s true that we believe the spread of kindness and overall respect can make the world a better place for us all to live – but being kind to others can also serve our own overall wellness. In fact, performing acts of generosity has been proven to reduce the effects of stress. Some research has even been the impetus for physicians to recommend volunteer work to their patients as a way to increase health.
So where does one start? Spreading kindness can be as simple as buying a coffee for the person behind you in line at the coffee shop. It can be as involved as making a commitment to donate time volunteering with a local nonprofit. It can be as easy as smiling at everyone you pass for an entire day – or a whole week. However you choose to incorporate kindness into your daily life, know how important it is. Know that you are playing your part to #LeadTheWay.