This year, November 11th through November 15th is World Kindness Week. According to the site awarenessdays.com, this celebration started in Tokyo 21 years ago but is now celebrated by a number of countries across the globe.

"The mission of the World Kindness Movement and World Kindness Day is to create a kinder world by inspiring individuals and nations towards greater kindness."

The basic idea of World Kindness Week is simple: "attempt to make the world a better place by celebrating and promoting good deeds and pledging acts of kindness, either as individuals or groups."

The Wikipedia site for the week-long celebration says kindness is one of the most basic and important parts of unifying the world and all it's differences.

"Kindness is a fundamental part of the human condition which bridges the divides of race religion, politics, gender and zip codes. "

And when I started to do a little research on World Kindness Week, I found a number of articles that said participating in this holiday could actually be good for your health! Some studies actually suggest that when employers encourage employees to celebrate World Kindness Week, the employees experience lower stress and blood pressure levels, improved work output, stronger working relationships and an increase of their own happiness levels!

This past weekend, The Bangor School Department sent an alert out to parents giving them a heads up that World Kindness Week was this week. They also encouraged all Bangor families to find ways to be kind.

My son, who's a 6th grader in town, came home last week and said they've already been working on "kind and encouraging notes" to put up on student lockers this coming week. I think that's a really great start.

At home, my daughters and I have spent some time this week putting together a box for "Operation Christmas Child." The excitement and joy on their faces at getting to pick out toys and little thoughts for our recipient was undeniable. And seeing how happy it made them to be kind, made me happy. So the concept of kindness spreading joy is entirely true.

If you're looking for some ideas on how to celebrate World Kindness Week, I found a bunch of them all over the internet!

The website Random Acts of Kindness had some very simple yet thoughtful suggestions:

  1. Compliment the first three people you talk to.
  2. Write a hand-written note to a teacher.
  3. Say good morning to the person next to you on the elevator.
  4. Pick up litter. Spend 10 minutes cleaning a park or your neighborhood.
  5. Place uplifting notes in library books, on restroom mirrors, on someone's locker, or on their computer screen.
  6. Dedicate 24 hours to spreading positivity on social media.
  7. Hold up inspiring signs during rush hour.
  8. Leave a generous tip.
  9. Send flowers to a friend.
  10. Set an alarm to go off three times on World Kindness Day. When the alarm sounds, stop what you're doing a call/text/email someone simply to tell them how awesome they are.

The website The Gift Exchange had some good ones, too. They included saying thank you, volunteering, adopting or fostering a pet. They even had one I hadn't thought of before, but that is so important these days:

"Exercise self-compassion – Take the time to erase negative thoughts of self-doubt and replace them with kind words of encouragement."

Whatever you do, or however you choose to celebrate World Kindness Week, and World Kindness Day (which is Wednesday) I hope you experience joy in both the giving and receiving of kindness.