November 13th is World Kindness Day!

By Ashley Barnes

Why World Kindness Day?

November 13th has been designated as World Kindness Day, an international holiday founded in 1998 to promote kindness throughout the world. The holiday is observed in many countries aside from the United States including Canada, Japan, and Australia. As part of the larger World Kindness Movement, World Kindness Day allows us the opportunity to consider the positive impact that acts of kindness can impart, both large and small. Kind acts can promote unity, positivity, and make a big difference in someone’s life.

How to spread kindness.

Though there are countless ways we can be kind to others, here are a few ideas to consider in celebration of World Kindness Day:

The simple act of smiling at others can promote a sense of safety and compassion. When we smile at someone, we acknowledge their presence in a way that is warm, kind, and inviting. For many people, a smile can be a sign that they are not alone in the world, encouragement to get through a tough day, or a reminder that nice people exist in the world. 

Has anyone ahead of you paid for your food or your drink in a drive-through? If so, think about how that act made you feel. Most likely, you were touched by the unexpected act of kindness in such a seemingly unforgiving world. If it is financially feasible for you, a meaningful act of kindness may be to pleasantly surprise someone by funding their morning coffee. This small act can make someone’s day. Perhaps, they may even be inspired to pay your kindness forward by funding another person’s purchase. You could create a chain reaction of kindness that extends beyond yourself!

Another way to spread kindness could be to give a loved one, a friend, a coworker, or a mentor a meaningful note. The note doesn’t have to be long or complicated. It could contain a meaningful expression of gratitude for the person or an inspirational quote. Writing a note can communicate our appreciation and care for others in our life in a way that is simple and easy. Give this a try and see how this small gesture can make a big difference in someone’s day. 

If you can make time, volunteering is a wonderful way to promote human kindness. A multitude of volunteering opportunities exist, especially in Los Angeles County. You can even select a volunteering opportunity that caters to your interests, such as cooking healthy food for the elderly, socializing cats and dogs at a shelter to increase their likelihood of adoption, or mentoring children with challenging home lives. There are many underserved communities that would greatly benefit from your efforts and kindness.

No act of kindness is too small, as even the smallest gestures can make a big impact in someone’s life.

How to be kind to yourself.

In focusing on kindness towards others, it is also important to turn this kindness back on ourselves. This is a reminder that your happiness, mental health, and wellbeing matter too. In celebration of World Kindness Day, we encourage you to make time for your own self-care.

This could look like prioritizing exercise, sleep, eating healthy food, or engaging in an activity that makes you feel rejuvenated, such as taking a bath. It could be making time to do something that brings you joy such as watching a comedic movie, painting,  or listening to your favorite song. Self-care can also look like reaching out to a loved one for support or attending to your mental health concerns by seeking help from a therapist or psychiatrist


  • Volunteer County of Los Angeles – provides access to many volunteering opportunities within the Los Angeles area.
  • Ripple Kindness Project – provides access to free activities and materials for children to engage in acts of kindness, such as a kindness checklist, kindness jigsaw puzzle, and kindness-oriented coloring book pages.