World Kindness Day, celebrated annually on November 13, was first introduced as a day of observation by the World Kindness Movement. World Kindness Day came into being when several humanitarian groups came together at a Tokyo-based convention in 1997 and made a Declaration of Kindness. Diverse institutions and associations joined from countries around the world, including Australia, Thailand, the United Kingdom, the United States and many more.
What started as World Kindness Day turned into World Kindness Week, where everyone is encouraged to make a similar declaration of kindness and charity. World Kindness Week begins on November 7th and runs through the 13th. The week is celebrated by donating books, food, or clothes to local communities and pledging to empathize with other people. World Kindness Week aims to create a society where everyone can live a dignified life.
In 2019, the organization was registered as an official NGO under Swiss law. This means that it is a nonprofit organization that operates independently of any government. Now recognized and celebrated almost everywhere in the world, participants unite to perform acts of kindness. The single unifying purpose of this week is to focus on positivity and how it impacts us daily.
This week of kindness is observed with activities like dance mobs, concerts, distributing kindness-themed cards and performing random acts of kindness. At the moment, World Kindness Week is an unofficial celebration; however, enthusiasts hope that the World Kindness Movement will soon achieve 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.
Here are some discoveries about kindness:
- Kindness is teachable: We are psychologically wired to help someone in need.
- It’s contagious: Witnessing an act of kindness improves our mood, making us more likely to pay it forward.
- Serotonin source: Like a natural antidepressant, kindness stimulates the production of serotonin.
- Kindness makes you live longer: There is a 44% less chance of an early death if you are kind! (This is the theme for World Kindness Week this year.)
- Kindness has anti-aging effects: Perpetually kind people have 23% less stress hormone and age slower than the average population.
- Oxytocin source: Witnessing acts of kindness produces oxytocin, sometimes called the “love hormone.” Oxytocin helps lower blood pressure and may improve overall heart health. Oxytocin also helps increase our self-esteem, creates an optimistic outlook and can help ease anxiety or shyness.
As we approach the season of gratitude, giving and celebration, Nikken is happy to provide gift ideas of Active Wellness, balance, mindfulness and beauty. We call it the 2022 Something for Everyone Gift Guide. Items in the Gift Guide are available through the end of 2022: https://issuu.com/nikkeninternationalinc/docs/holiday_gift_guide_2022