World Kindness Day is an international holiday that was formed in 1998, to promote kindness throughout the world and is observed annually on November 13 as part of the World Kindness Movement. It is observed in many countries including the United States, Canada, Japan, Australia and the U.A.E. World Kindness Day presents us with the opportunity to reflect upon one of the most important and unifying human principles. On a day devoted to the positive potential of both large and small acts of kindness, try to promote and diffuse this crucial quality that brings people of every kind together.
When is World Kindness Day 2024?
World Kindness Day is celebrated on November 13 every year. It’s an international holiday that is observed in many countries including but not limited to the U.S., Canada, Australia, Italy, and India.
History of World Kindness Day
World Kindness Day was first introduced as a day of observation by the World Kindness Movement. In 2019, the organization was registered as an official NGO under Swiss law, but the history of the group stretches back to a Tokyo-based convention in 1997. An array of institutions and associations based in countries including Australia, Thailand, the United States, and the United Kingdom had been assembled at this conference because of their dedication to championing kindness in society. The initial configuration of the World Kindness Movement would form as a result of this event, with the written declaration of their inception stating their “pledge to join together to build a kinder and more compassionate world.” In 1998, in pursuit of this aim, they would facilitate the launch of the inaugural World Kindness Day.
The purpose of World Kindness Day as outlined by the World Kindness Movement is “to highlight good deeds in the community focusing on the positive power and the common thread of kindness which binds us.” Since its creation more than two decades ago, the day has achieved truly global notice; events associated with the day have attracted participants from every inhabited continent. These have included activities such as concerts, dance mobs, and the distribution of “kindness cards.”
While, at present, the day is one of unofficial observance, it remains the hope of the World Kindness Movement to attain official recognition status by the United Nations. Should the group be successful in their efforts, World Kindness Day would join the ranks of recognized days of observance such as International Day of Peace, Human Rights Day, and World Health Day.
World Kindness Day timeline
The inauguration of World Kindness Day is designated on November 13th of 1998 after the formation of the World Kindness Movement.
The day is observed for the first time in Singapore, India, and Italy.
World Kindness Day inspires the foundation of Kindness Day UK in the United Kingdom.
The World Kindness Movement attains official status as an NGO under Swiss law.
World Kindness Day Traditions
The objective of World Kindness Day is to spread kindness with small gestures. The main tradition of the day is to be kind and to try and encourage kindness to prevail over hatred. Whether it’s helping out someone with chores, taking the time out to ask how someone is doing, or complimenting someone, the name of the game is kindness, and we all have it in us.
World Kindness Day FAQs
What is the purpose of World Kindness Day?
As outlined in the World Kindness Movement’s description of the day, the purpose of World Kindness Day is “to highlight good deeds in the community focusing on the positive power and the common thread of kindness, which binds us.”
How did World Kindness Day start?
World Kindness Day started after the formation of the World Kindness Movement. It was their hope and goal to create a day that would help to raise awareness of the importance of kindness as a unifying power between people everywhere.
Where does the word 'kindness' come from?
The word ‘kindness’ has its roots in the Old English word ‘kyndnes,’ which itself is derived from the Middle English word ‘kindenes,’ meaning ‘courtesy.’
World Kindness Day Activities
Perform at least three random acts of kindness today
Give compliments. Smile at strangers. Hold a door open. Give up your seat on a crowded train. Perform at least three random acts of kindness and see what magic follows!
Give extra (and extra-long) hugs today
Kindness and connection go hand-in-hand. Take a few extra minutes to hug your loved ones and friends today. They might wonder what got into you, but they’ll appreciate it nonetheless!
Write a love poem to yourself and read it out loud
You should be kind to yourself, today, too. Write a short (or long) poem highlighting the things you appreciate about yourself and your life.
5 Facts About Kindness
Start with children
One in four children in the U.S. experience bullying at school on a regular basis — teaching kids to be kind to everyone, even if they're different, and to stand up to bullying when they see it, turns them into brave and kind adults.
A day of unity
Though the movement isn't affiliated with any religion or political movement, over 28 nations participate in World Kindness Day.
It pays to be kind
People who are constantly kind produce 23% less cortisol, which is the stress hormone — because of the lower levels of stress, people who practice kindness age slower than the average population.
Kindness is contagious
Researchers from the Stanford Social Neuroscience Laboratory found that when people see someone else being kind, they are more likely to act kindly towards others themselves.
It lowers blood pressure
Emotional warmth releases the hormone oxytocin, which dilates the blood vessels and therefore lowers your blood pressure.
Why We Love World Kindness Day
Doing things for others is actually fun
Many people are focused on their own lives and can forget to take a moment to think about what other people need. Ironically, doing something nice for others isn’t only good for them — it can be good for you, too!
It offers an excuse to get creative in your kindness
Other days of celebration encourage people to take their appreciation of things to the max. World Kindness Day allows for the chance to think of extra-special or unique ways to perform acts of kindness.
Kindness is important
Celebrating kindness and the benefits we derive from this core aspect of the human condition is valuable. It reminds us that we are neither alone in our lives nor do we live in a world where goodness is not apparent.
World Kindness Day dates