Photo by Andrea Piacquadio.

We all have the potential to show kindness, whether we use our words or actions.

With World Kindness Day approaching on Saturday 13 November 2021, we are reminded to show kindness to all – not just for one day, but every day.

According to Oxford Languages, the definition of kindness is “the quality of being friendly, generous, and considerate.”

Kindness can be expressed in many ways, from something small like a smile, to something substantial like going out of your way to assist someone.

Most likely, you can recall a moment in your life when someone has shown you kindness. When I recall moments in my life when someone has shown kindness, it makes me feel valued and special, and demonstrates to me that someone cares. What a wonderful feeling that is!

Being kind is an act of love. As described in 1 Corinthians 13:4, “love is kind”. When we are kind, we are also loving. In other words, we are recognising the dignity of the person or creation we are showing kindness to.

Mary MacKillop is an example of someone who showed kindness and saw the dignity of all people she encountered. There are many stories that demonstrates how she showed kindness. Additionally, there are examples in Mary MacKillop’s writings of her giving instructions to be kind, such as:

Put kind constructions where you can, and where you cannot, be silent. Mary MacKillop 15.11.1878
Be kind to the poor foreigners. Remember that I was a foreigner once, and as such was never laughed at nor unkindly criticized.Mary MacKillop, written to Sr Josephine McMullen, 1875

I believe if we aim to intentionally be kind, eventually, being kind will come naturally and become a part of who we are.

Perhaps next time the opportunity to show kindness arises, you can take it. Or maybe you can make the opportunity to express kindness.

The Random Acts of Kindness Foundation provides ideas, resources and inspirational quotes for kindness. For World Kindness Day this year, the Random Acts of Kindness Foundation has created a campaign to ‘make kindness the norm.’ On their website here, the Random Acts of Kindness Foundation “provides seven ways to start making kindness the norm in your daily life.”

Let’s do our best to show kindness and #MakeKindnessTheNorm.

Mary Baynie