Celebrating World Kindness Day


Written by Special Contributor Alli Overstreet, Mentoring Outreach Coordinator.

Kindness matters. Not just saying the quote- but true acts of kindness go a long way for you and your community. Did you know that doing good, actually does you good? In fact, research shows that altruism can significantly improve overall wellbeing and reduce stress.

With all that is going on in our world and country this year, life can feel very overwhelming. The COVID-19 pandemic, civil rights, a presidential election, and adapting to a new way of life, to name a few. Because of these stresses and strains placed on us, it can be difficult to see the good in things and have the energy to exude kindness. Although it may not be intentional, kindness is oftentimes pushed to the side.

 

What if though, we used these strange times we are living to commit to kindness and giving in our daily lives? While it may be easy to share an uplifting post on social media or hit that “like” button, what if we did these things in real life? What if in our daily lives we committed to complimenting others, smiling, doing good deeds, volunteering more, and reimagining a kinder society- not only for our own mental health and wellbeing, but for others as well.

Kindness starts with ourselves and creates a ripple effect into our communities and societies. There are many ways to help others and give back in our daily lives. In fact, good deeds don’t always take a lot of time, money, or effort. It is usually in the smallest interactions that altruism lives. It is choosing to do something that serves others in a positive manner.

During this time of physical distancing, volunteering and helping others, even virtually, can give a sense of belonging and reduces the feelings of isolation. What if we paused for a moment and thought about what we are grateful for, and then paid that gratuity forward? These acts of kindness have the power to contribute to a more positive society by encouraging others to repeat the good deeds they have experienced.

Choose one thing (or many) to be grateful for and pay it forward in your community. Always remember to show yourself grace too, as you can’t pour from an empty cup. This holiday season, we encourage you to do something good for someone who can never repay you. An act of service or kindness is a gift that will continue giving.

Here are a few ways you can give the gift of service this month:

Virtual Volunteer Opportunities. Taking a few moments to send a note of encouragement to a first responder or engaging your family in creating Stars of Hope can make a huge difference for people in our community!
Become a Mentor. Did you know that by giving 1 hour a week, you can change a child’s life?
Donate. Every dollar helps United Way and our 100 funded programs and initiatives change lives and give hope every day.

 

 

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