In this past week, Monday the 13th of November was World Kindness Day, and Thursday the 16th was International Day of Tolerance. It’s fitting that these two days should be celebrated in the same week.
The world needs more of both.
In a time where it seems we are losing much of our humanity and becoming more insular as a society, we can be overwhelmed by the amount of negativity and bad news we are showered with daily. It can be tough to keep your chin up and smile, to find the silver lining in the gloominess, and to be a positive influence on those around you.
Kindness refers to how we treat people. It speaks to being generous, caring and giving, and of being vulnerable. Kindness not only extends beyond self, it begins with self. We can only be kind to others if we are first kind to ourselves. Loving who you are, being comfortable in your own skin, affects all areas of your life. Your health, your relationships and your inner peace all benefit from being kind to yourself. The best part is how many opportunities to show kindness present themselves, when you are at peace and open to giving.
Tolerance is not possible without kindness. It is through kindness that we are able to put ourselves in the other person’s shoes. To feel what they feel. Tolerance is how we react to anyone who is different to us. Whether it’s a difference in opinion, race, religion, sexual preferences or behaviour, tolerance says we can remain open-minded to other thoughts and opinions.
Arguably, over the last five years, societies around the world are starting to challenge the prejudices we hold over anyone different to us. Not a minute too soon, I’m sure many would shout.
Kindness and tolerance are antidotes to prejudice and hatred. The world needs a regular shot of the antidote in the arm.
Administer large doses with reckless abandon.