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National World Kindness Day

What is World Kindness Day and when and where and why did it begin?

World Kindness Day is a holiday that promotes the importance of being kind to each other, to yourself, and to the world. The purpose of this day is to help everyone understand that kindness is what binds us all together. This understanding has the power to bridge the gap between nations. With kindness, we can overcome the divides of politics, race, religion, gender, and so much more. What began as an effort from the World Kindness Movement at a Tokyo conference 24 years ago is now a global movement reminding everyone of the power of kindness. (Source: InspiredKindness.com)

I have only musings to offer. And the musings don’t hang together at all. They’re just wonderings that I wondered while thinking about writing this.

This is a warning to a potential reader. Stop now if you’re looking for well thought out blog-essay. Not going to happen!

Is Kindness ‘Automatic?’

Is “thank you” or “you’re welcome” just automatic? Can there such a thing as an automatic act of kindness? No matter how automatic, doesn’t kindness stem from gratitude? Can I be authentically kind and ungrateful at the same time?

When did the response to thank you turn into “no problem?” Personally, I frequently find acting kindly is a problem for me. So maybe I do need to celebrate National Act of Kindness Day as a “shape up or ship out” reminder to myself.

Random acts of kindness — are there such things? I guess to the recipient the act seems random, out of the blue, an unexpected kindness landing in one’s lap. But for the giver? If the giver lives a life of kindness, can any of her acts be random? Wouldn’t these kind acts be part of a pattern in her life — not the occasional random response?

Straightforward

During the holidays, I drop my money in the Salvation Army’s red kettle. I donate to our food pantry. Are these “legitimate” acts of kindness? I ask because I also hand a man holding a “Homeless” sign a few dollars. Some would say I’m enabling. “He’s probably really not homeless. Direct your act of kindness to organizations you can trust, Denise.” So, acts of kindness should be directed only to “worthy people?”

Enough, Denise. National World Kindness Day is straightforward in its purpose: World Kindness Movement at a Tokyo conference 24 years ago is now a global movement reminding everyone of the power of kindness.

The power of kindness … now there’s something to think about, act on and believe in.

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Sister Denise Wilkinson

Sister Denise was the general superior of the Sisters of Providence of Saint Mary-of-the-Woods from 2006-2016. She previously served as a high school teacher, college administrator, postulant/novice director and director of advancement and communications for the Congregation. Currently, Sister Denise serves the Congregation in various volunteer positions.

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8 Comments

  1. Joanne Murphy on November 13, 2021 at 7:00 am

    I’ve always enjoyed and appreciated your writings, Sister Denise. Your musings here give me something to think about.

  2. Maureen Abbott on November 13, 2021 at 8:35 am

    Wow, another “Day” with Denise! Always fodder for further musing. 😉 I’m reminded of the lead character, Armand, in Louise Penny’s serial novels. As new characters are introduced, they always notice that he has kind eyes. He is indeed a very attractive model in showing how kindness has a far reaching influence.

  3. Joni Luna on November 13, 2021 at 9:10 am

    Thank you Denise for sharing your musings.
    Loads of food for thought.
    I always enjoy lessons

  4. Mary Tomlinson SP on November 13, 2021 at 9:44 am

    Thank you, Denise for the good and timely reminder. You are welcome and thank you will be uttered many time these holidays. Thank you for your musings on kindness. May your day find many acts of kindness!! Mary T.

  5. Sharon Richards on November 13, 2021 at 10:23 am

    Yes, Denise. I ,too , always enjoy your writing! Thanks for sharing your musings on kindness; I will be carrying them in my heart for a long time.

  6. Jeannie Smith on November 13, 2021 at 11:24 am

    Ah Denise! Always the thoughtful one. (Thank you!) I’ve never liked that response, “No problem”, but I hadn’t given thought to why I don’t like it. Thanks to you I am now thinking about the difference – “you’re welcome” puts the focus on the recipient, and says that I am gladdened to share what I can with you because YOU deserve it. “No problem” puts the focus on the giver, and says the act could or would have been done regardless of who the recipient is. I think that is a really huge difference. Maybe purposefully dropping the “no problem” response could lead us to being more intentional in our “automatic” replies.

  7. Linda McMahon on November 13, 2021 at 1:06 pm

    You have shared your valuable insights with me and I am grateful!

  8. Nancy Kremer/gratittude on November 18, 2021 at 10:58 pm

    I often use the expression “no problem” because for me generally helping someone with a concern, problem solving or a task is simply no problem because I am happy to assist them. My family “inheritance” has always been to offer to assist or be available when asked. Several years ago while discussing the act of reaching out to another in service, I said “for me it is always easier to say “yes” than “no”… my parents gave the great example of helping others as an act of kindness, not a burden, but a natural “by product” of appreciation/gratitude for the blessings given to me by God.
    So I usually volunteer or offer service/assistance without thinking twice. I have been questioned on my perpetual service to others, but really for me it’s in my DNA!

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