Amidst trying times in Hong Kong and across the world, we need kindness more than ever.
World Kindness Day is observed internationally every year on November 13th. Introduced to the world in 1998 by the World Kindness Movement, made up of a group of kindness NGOs all over the globe, the purpose of this day is to shine a spotlight on good deeds that bind the community and the power of positivity. This year, we are celebrating World Kindness Day in the midst of difficult times. In the face of what can feel like darkness and hopelessness, I hope to make an appeal today to practice kindness to all, across generations, across divides, across boundaries. Above all else, this could be the single most powerful action that each and every one of us can individually take to make our city and the planet a better place.
There is no doubt that we are in the middle of trying times. Words sometimes pale in comparison to the depth of emotion that is running through hearts and minds in the city. But I am here to make an appeal today, on World Kindness Day, to approach the world with kindness, which is at the core of our human condition and is a fundamental part of each and every one of us, bridging across politics, religion, gender, communities. Overlooking these boundaries through kindness is far from glossing over our differences, it is a celebration of diversity. We are each entitled to our individual opinions and beliefs, but these differences should not change the way we conduct our everyday actions with grace and dignity. Today, a day that is meant to highlight the beauty of kindness, is the perfect excuse to start reviving something that seems far-fetched to some, forgotten by others, or even feared after months of divisiveness.
In an age of polarisation, kindness will never lose its appeal. While we might feel like we have never been as far apart from one another than ever before, kindness is something entrenched in our human souls. Aren’t we all bound to each other by virtue of being human – with equal rights, values and hopes for a better future? Being generous, compassionate and empathetic, laying bare our insecurities to one another is a sign of courage, not defeat. Being strong and courageous is as simple as showing kindness, one act at a time. Even the smallest acts, such as handing out a meal to a person in need, volunteering at an animal shelter, picking up litter on the street or lending an ear to someone who wishes to be heard has the power to connect us back to our shared humanity.
Kindness is not only a pathway to connect. The best form of resistance to confront indignation is kindness. In these times, we should be holding our heads up high against the culture of pessimism, hopelessness and cynicism. We risk, by showing kindness above all else, being taken advantage of, seen as forceless or willing to waver – and that is a new form of bravery. I refuse to accept that my hope for and in the magic of kindness can be dismissed as “wishful thinking.” The goodwill in Hong Kong society is not dead, it is limitless and unbounded.
Happy World Kindness Day, everyone!
Lead image courtesy of iStock Photos.