Today is World Kindness Day: Embracing Kindness to Defeat the Political Economy of Hatred
- Kamran Mofid
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The Transformational Power of Kindness to Build a Better and more Fulfilling Life: Be Kind to Yourself, Be Kind to Others. You reconcile all beings in the world.
Wednesday 13 November 2019 is World Kindness Day
Across the globe, hatred, racism, xenophobia, mistrust, indifference, anger, fear, disregard for our sacred earth and mother nature..., are rippling out like vectors in an epidemic.
However, I am hopeful. I believe that we’re witnessing the rise of a Global Kindness Movement for the Common Good.
The Kindness Movement is a path to Make us Great Again.
Photo: The Youth Booth
At the time that so tragically ‘HATRED’ has become a norm in the global arena, and a unifying factor in global discourse, where politicians, certain media and especially social media are exploiting it as an instrument to materialise their dangerous political/economic/societal objectives throughout the world, I offer you ‘KINDNESS’ to find peace, contentment and the courage to beat the rise in global hatred.
Globalisation for the Common Good Initiative (GCGI) is happy to acknowledge and honour the World Kindness Day. A day dedicated to shifting our understanding of who we are and the very foundations of our world and our humanity.
November 13th is World Kindness Day. It's a day where everyone looks past stereotypes and misfortunes. It's a day to perform a random act of kindness and show the world that we are all in this together. It's a day to show others that, despite the ‘busyness’ in our lives, kindness, love, sincerity and the common good still exist.
‘He that seeks the good of the many seeks in consequence his own good’.- St Thomas Aquinas
‘Kindness is the language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see’-Mark Twain
‘When I do good, I feel good; when I do bad, I feel bad’.- Abraham Lincoln
‘God loves a cheerful giver’.- St. Paul
‘A generous heart, kind speech, and a life of service and compassion are the things which renew humanity.’- The Buddha
Kindness is the Currency for a Good Life: Kindness to Make the World Great Again
'The reason we are losing our values is that we are failing to nourish them and hold on to them. It is a collective meanness of spirit.'
13 November World Kindness Day
“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, and the 35th anniversary of the Small Kindness Movement of Japan, which brought the signatories of the ‘declaration of kindness’ of the World Kindness Movement together in 1997.
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 that 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 that we are any better than they are. When we become friends with someone from a different culture we discover that despite some obvious differences, there are many similarities.
Sometimes knowledge is passed on to us about different races, different cultures, that has become distorted, and we build up a false, negative impression of these people. It is only when we get to know such people that we realise it is a lie.
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 that we can create positive change, we move beyond ourselves, our limitations, our doubts, and realise 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.”
All in all, “The Spirit of Generosity” is what matters most. Given the significance of this, let us see what this spirit is, and what it is all about:
Generosity of Spirit
As it has been observed, “The concept of generosity has many meanings, most often connoting giving of money or gifts to charities or other people. Other definitions of the word include:
*Showing a readiness to give more of something, as money or time, than is strictly necessary or expected.
*Showing kindness toward others.
*Liberal in giving or sharing; unselfish; free from meanness or smallness of mind or character; magnanimous.
These are the three I want to focus on in this post. When put together, I refer to this definition as “generosity of spirit.”
The concept suggests that one engages others with an open heart and mind. It presumes a non-judgmental attitude along with a tolerance for ideas and behaviours that may not comport with one’s own. It requires a high level of tolerance for different beliefs, values, and behaviour. Generosity of spirit requires that one spend more energy looking at what it good and positive in someone than at what one thinks is bad or negative. Generosity of spirit embraces differences with acceptance.
People who are generous of spirit are genuinely happy for others good fortune irrespective of their own circumstances. They are devoid of envy, seldom have disparaging thoughts about others and never make disparaging comments. They tend to look for and assume the best in people and treat all people with the same degree of respect and acceptance. They go beyond mere tolerance; they tend to be more magnanimous and are able to include greater differences from their own beliefs or values.
We have a choice as to how we will orient ourselves in the world and how we will act. We can choose to view the world through the eyes of a positivist who sees the world as filled with possibility and potential, and thereby approaches life with enthusiasm, wonder, and joy. Or we can view the world through the eyes of the cynic, who sees nothing but corruption, and therefore approaches the world with distrust, suspicion, sarcasm, and scorn.
Similarly, we can engage the world with a generosity of spirit where we greet people with trust, openness, and compassion or we can choose to engage from the position of self-pity, envy, and disdain. Should we choose the former, we increase the probability of experiencing happiness in our lives; if we choose the latter, we increase the probability of feeling depressed and resentful. The choice is ours.”...GENEROSITY OF SPIRIT
Ubuntu : “I Am because We Are”
Photo:What is this life if…?
I would like to close with a story that illustrates “Generosity of Spirit” to perfection: An anthropologist proposed a game to children in an African tribe. He put a basket of fruit near a tree and told the children that whoever got there first would win the sweet fruits. When he told them to run, they all took each other’s hands and ran together, then sat together enjoying their treats. When he asked them why they had run like that, since one of them could have had all the fruits for himself, they said: “Ubuntu, how can one of us be happy if all the others are sad?”
...And, Yes, I Have a Dream, that one day, Kindness will be the number one value, valued at homes by all families, and that one day too, it will be taught as a module at all our schools, colleges, universities and places of work. Given the state of our lives, our world, and what’s happening all around us, I call for a different vision of life:
“Teaching children to care about others might be the best way to prepare them for a successful and fulfilling life.”
And now enjoy and be inspired by Glen Campbell’s Try A Little Kindness
If you see your brother standing by the road
With a heavy load from the seeds he sowed
And if you see your sister falling by the way
Just stop and say you're goin' the wrong way
You've got to try a little kindness yes show a little kindness
Yes shine your light for everyone to see
And if you'll try a little kindness and you'll overlook the blindness
Of the narrow minded people on the narrow minded streets
Don't walk around the down and out lend a helping hand instead of doubt
And the kindness that you show every day will help someone along their way
You've got to try a little kindness...
You've got to try a little kindness...