National What Week: How being kind is important to society


World Kindness Day takes place on November 13


By Immi Calderwood

A wave of kindness will sweep across the country in celebration of World Kindness Day on November 13.

The global day of kindness was introduced in 1998 by the World Kindness Movement and is observed in many countries including Canada, Australia and Japan.

Kindness is a central part of the human condition, and bridges the divides of race, religion, politics and gender.

“The aim is to get greater recognition for kindness worldwide. It’s totally non-religious and non-political,” said David Jamilly, founder of Kindness UK, a humanitarian organisation which aims to make kindness a greater part of our day-to-day lives.

“We promote kindness every day of the year in various ways, but by having a special day of recognition it’s easier to have a greater awareness, and a greater number of people involved.”

Apart from merely making us feel warm and fuzzy inside, kindness has a number of very practical roles to play in our society.

Kindness UK is currently researching five key areas for the practical application of kindness, including how it can impact stress levels and productivity in the workplace, and why all ten of the world’s largest religions have kindness at their core.

With the rise of the online ‘troll’, the charity is focusing particularly on cyber-kindness and its function in our modern technological age.

This year Kindness UK is highlighting how easy it is to be kind to people, encouraging as many groups, people and organisations around the UK to send a kind text to someone they know.

The text can comprise of a compliment, a remembrance of a kind deed, or anything kind they would like to say, with the hope that a kind text will reach as many people around the country as possible in one day.

“There’s an increasing interest in kindness values in today’s rapidly changing world, with the financial crash and all sorts of environmental changes,” said Mr Jamilly.

“Kindness is becoming more important across the planet.”

Residents of South West London seem to have kind gestures sorted, and have been doing all sorts of selfless things for each other.

Daniel Cox, 25, from Wimbledon said: “I walked all the way here in the rain to meet my girlfriend.”

“My girlfriend got me a beer without me asking her, which sounds like a little thing, but I really appreciated it,” said Nick Day, 28, from Earlsfield.

“I bought a birthday present for my friend, it’s their birthday this week,” said Olu Dairo, 44, from Dagenham.

“A shop assistant was really kind to me today. I changed my mind a load of times and she was very patient,” said Jo-Anne, 42, Wimbledon.

The key to the day is emphasising that kind acts can be simple, but even the tiniest gestures make a huge difference to the people around us.

To find out more about the work of Kindness UK and Kindness Day UK, visit

Photo courtesy of SweetOnVeg, with thanks.

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