Every day presents an opportunity to make the world a kinder, more compassionate place, but it never hurts to dedicate time to work towards specific goals. And that’s what this week is for. August 25-31 has been dubbed “Be Kind to Humankind Week” (by whom we’re not sure, but does it matter?), and we have some ideas on how to put our good intentions into practice.
As flight attendants always say during the flight safety schpiel, “In the event of drop in cabin air pressure, put on your oxygen mask before helping to those around you.” After all, you can’t help anyone else if you can’t think clearly because you aren’t getting enough oxygen. Similarly, it’s hard to be kind, genuinely compassionate, to others if you aren’t nurturing a healthy self-love.
You are human, so when it comes to being kind to humankind, you deserve your own love and kindness as much as your friends, family and community members. So, let yourself have it! This week, set aside time to nurture yourself. You don’t have to take a sick day or spend hundreds of dollars on spa treatments (although those are perfectly good ideas, if you ask us). You can show yourself loving kindness by simply:
Perhaps the most loving thing you can do for yourself, and quite possibly the most challenging, is to give yourself a break from the mean-spirited self-critic that fills your thoughts with should’ves, could’ves, would’ves and comparisons that destroy your sense of inner peace.
Kindness, compassion and love expand. When you feel them, you can’t hold them in—you want to share. So when you give yourself the time and permission to show yourself genuine kindness, it won’t be long before you want to share those warm fuzzies with people around you. And there are plenty of ways to be kind to all humankind around you—family, friends and strangers.
Gestures don’t have to be grand to communicate kindness. You may simply open a door for a stranger, stuff an extra dollar in your barista’s tip jar, actually tell someone they look nice when you think, “that person looks nice today.”
Maybe you already do those things, and you’d like to observe the week by going above and beyond your natural kindness. (You’re awesome, by the way!) There are countless ways to do it. All you need is a little creativity. If you need some help, randomactsofkindness.org has plenty of ideas. Most random acts of kindness don’t cost anything, and the kindness you see reflected back to you in look and words of a grateful human neighbor will continually feed your spring of compassion.
Be the change you want to see in the world—bring genuine kindness to fellow humankind.