• Tue. Nov 28th, 2023

World Kindness Day: kindness to society, strangers and yourself

ByKatharine Cook

Nov 8, 2016

World Kindness Day is celebrated worldwide on November 13. Kindness UK have, in the past, arranged some amazing events such as a chocolate giveaway in the London Underground and a ‘text wave’ to encourage people to be kind. The main idea behind World Kindness Day is that kindness is contagious; once you’re kind to somebody it spreads.

Personally I have no trouble believing this; last week a stranger offered me their day ticket for the bus after they were done with it. This was such a nice gesture and it really made my week.

One of the best things about World Kindness Day is that it is so easy to get involved: their website lists abundant examples of kind acts in several areas, such as your family, your community or for the environment.

One quick, relatively painless, and potentially life-saving way to be kind is to donate blood. There are multiple donation centres across Edinburgh; there’s one on Lauriston Place just three minutes away from George Square! If you’re feeling convinced, nip to the NHS website to check your eligibility and make an appointment.

A second fantastic idea is to volunteer. If you have walked down South Clerk Street recently, I’m sure you have noticed the charity shops’ signs encouraging you to volunteer with them. If you have some time to spare then why not go for it? If retail doesn’t tickle your fancy then ESCA have a list of local volunteering vacancies on the Students’ Association website, full of great opportunities to meet new people, get work experience and to be kind!

Other, more everyday, ideas include: buying a stranger a coffee, holding the door for those behind you, writing a nice review for your favourite cafe, putting some of your change in a charity box, smiling at a stranger, or sending your friends a card saying how much you appreciate them. As you can see, there is no shortage of ideas.

Being environmentally friendly is another great way to be kind. Whether you’re recycling, avoiding excess packaging or buying locally sourced foods, every little act of kindness helps! If you are interested in living a waste-free life, then head to Guthrie Street to the Shrub Co-operative for some tips. They regularly hold awesome up-cycling and sewing workshops that teach you how to upgrade and customise your things.

However, World Kindness Day isn’t solely about being kind to others. As the lovely Ruby Wax said: “only if you’re kind to yourself can you be kind to others”. University can lead to making some amazing memories, but it is not without its difficulties; keeping on top of lecture notes, tutorial work, reading and lab hours as well as coursework is no mean feat.

Mental illness is quickly becoming one of the biggest issues facing students today and looking after yourself is one of the best ways to maintain your mental wellbeing. Make those essays a little less painful and spoil yourself. Some personal recommendations include lots of coffee, a big meal, a bubble bath, regular naps and a really good book.

Kindness UK’s website is full of really interesting resources if you are interested in learning more about the societal impact of kindness.



[Image: Camillaeatsfiftyeggs @ Flickr]

By Katharine Cook

An undergraduate Psychology student with a passion for strong coffee and student journalism. Lifestyle editor.

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