Volume 1 Issue 1 ISSN# 1708-3265
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World Kindness Day®
by Brian Willis
The date decreed for World Kindness Day is 13th November. This was the opening day of the first World Kindness Movement ® conference held at Tokyo in 1998.
The purpose of World Kindness Day is to look beyond ourselves, beyond the boundaries of our country, beyond our culture, our race, our religion; and realise we are citizens of the world. As world citizens we have a commonality, and must realise this if progress is to be made in human relations and endeavours, if we are to achieve the goal of peaceful coexistence, we must focus on what we have in common.
When we find likenesses we begin to experience empathy, and in such a state we can fully relate to that person or those people. While we may think of people from other cultures as being different when we compare them with our own customs and beliefs, it doesn't mean we are any better than they are. When we become friends with someone from a different culture we discover, despite some obvious differences, there are many similarities.
Sometimes knowledge, which has become distorted, is passed on to us about different races, different cultures, and we build up a false, negative impression of these people. It is only when we get to know such people - we realize it is a lie.
Another form of separation is in people who fail to let go of transgressions, which have occurred in the past. This also applies to some groups, where bitterness from many hundreds of years has been passed down though generations, and hatred becomes a normal reaction to thoughts of, or association with, the other group of people. The recent genocide in Europe is a tragic example of this. There is a need to let go of past transgressions if we are to live in peace. While we cannot change the past, we can ensure such things never happen again.
If we were to ask ourselves on a regular basis, "Is what I am involved in at this moment promoting joining together as a people or separation?" it would remind us of our commitment to kindness. All it requires is remembering. To assist our 'remembering', small signs can be created and posted about the home and work environment. Simple solutions are workable solutions. Simple solutions to promote joining, working toward our goal for world peace with little acts of kindness, helping to break down the walls separating races, religions and cultures. Helping our global brothers and sisters.
During the Great War (1914-18), when the dead were piled high in "no man's land," a truce was be declared so the respective sides could gather their dead. When this was completed, the battle was resume as if nothing had happened. One moment joining together in a common cause, the next, mortal enemies again. Do you associate this with day-to-day living? We have our moments of joining in a common cause - when we pause to be of service, or when we observe Kindness Day, Valentine's Day, Christmas Day, and so on. But then we go back to the way we were before the truce was declared - we go back to being at war! Not physically at war, but psychologically.
At war with the traffic, our boss or a co-worker, the neighbor's howling dog, rising prices, rude people, the noisy garbage truck, the promotion we didn't get, unruly children, the computer crash, the noisy party, falling share prices, an argument with our partner, the washing machine breaking down, the late train or bus, the long queue, the parking ticket, the recording saying, "Your call is important to us," or the person who didn't understand. It seems as if the whole of humanity is going through some mid-life crisis.
All of these stressful incidents in our engagement with the world are creating separation. How can we hope to have a peaceful world when we are incapable of creating peace in our own lives? We give energy to whatever we put our attention on, and how sad our energy is generally focused on the negative things (creating stress and hostility), and on the things we don't have (creating feelings of lack and dissatisfaction). What would it take to focus on the good things about our life, and be thankful for what we have, instead of being resentful or irritated about what we don't have?
We can be co-creators of a better world, and we can have a positive effect on world peace, when we bring order into our lives. Be what you want the world to be. Is that difficult? Only if you think it is! When we accept the reality we can create positive change, we move beyond ourselves, our limitations, our doubts, and realize our infinite power. Anthropologist Margaret Mead said, "never doubt that a small group of thoughtful citizens can change the world. Indeed, it's the only thing that ever has."
As mentioned before, as individuals we seem to have a habit of labeling some things as too hard, without giving more than a moment's consideration as to whether we might be able to achieve such a thing. To achieve something, all that is usually required is the application of a little persistence (for example, when we were learning to walk).
Persistence is a magical thing. Calvin Coolidge had the following to say about persistence. "Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; un-rewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education alone will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent."
We make an agreement with ourselves to keep working away at whatever it is we wish to achieve, little by little. By chipping away, like a sculptor at their block of marble, it is only a matter of time before we have given form to our thought. Such results are within the grasp of everyone - young and old, rich and needy, educated and uneducated, employed and unemployed. People like you and me, carrying out small acts of kindness, making the world a better place.
Joseph Campbell tells us, "People say that what we're all seeking is a meaning for life. I don't think that's what we're really seeking. I think that what we're seeking is an experience of being alive, so that our life experiences on the purely physical plane will have resonance within our own innermost being and reality, so that we actually feel the rapture of being alive." The rapture of being alive is truly a wonderful expression, don't you think? Such raptures give real purpose to our lives. When we carry out an act of kindness it creates a good feeling within us, which surely could be termed as one of the raptures of being alive.
We may be proud of our country, but if we think of ourselves as citizens of a country, it can become easy to distance ourselves from the misery taking place in other parts of the world. The basic principle of kindness is in joining, in acknowledging we have a connection with every living thing on this wonderful planet of ours. As our kind acts and deeds bring greater kindness to the world, the barriers of separation will begin to crumble, bringing a rainbow of understanding and happiness to the people of the world.
As the name implies, World Kindness Day is about being kind to the world. The "Lonely Planet" not only refers to a travel guide, it is descriptive of the Earth - the only planet in our solar system known to be teeming with life. It's all we have, and it's in everyone's best interest to make it the nicest place to live, because it's the only place we have to live. Yet all we've done since the dawn of civilization is to destroy anything that stands in our way. And what price do we place on the homeless, the brutalized, the addicted, the downtrodden, the impoverished, and the ever widening gap between the wealthy and the needy? Isn't it time everyone began thinking more about others and less about themselves? There is an obsession in society for a number of things, one of them is the accumulation of material wealth, far beyond what is required to live a comfortable life. The power wealth brings seems to be irresistible to some. But it can have a down side, and we hear from time to time about the principles of such people becoming a casualty.
World Kindness Day is the beginning of a global reaction to the exploitation of our human and natural resources. It could be said the slogan for World Kindness Day might well be "Healing the World!" - and in doing so, there is the possibility of creating something so intrinsically good and wholesome, the beneficial effects could be virtually endless.
It has been suggested the Cosmos flower be adopted as a symbol of World Kindness Day. The Cosmos is an annual with Daisy-like flowers, and many colors are available. While they may not flower in time for WKD (13th November) they will be a joy to behold when they do. Flowers have such happy little faces, don't you think?
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Any advice given is for informational purposes only.
Any advice given is for informational purposes only.