World Kindness Day is celebrated on 13 November. How can we become happier by doing kind things for others? And how can we help the world by doing kind things for ourselves?

Do the preparation task first. Then read the article and do the exercises.

Can you remember a time when somebody was kind to you? Perhaps a person allowed you to go in front of them in a queue. Maybe your sister phoned you to ask how your week was going. Or perhaps a stranger or a friend helped you in a much deeper way. There are a million ways to offer kindness. And at a time when the world seems to have so many problems, some people have started to take the issue of kindness very seriously indeed!

Why be kind?

Few people would disagree with the idea that a kind action is good for the soul. It is a win-win situation, leading to a sense of well-being both for the receiver of this kind gesture, as well as for the person who does the action. As a simple example, let’s imagine you have a workmate who always does a very good job. How about taking a moment to mention this to them, just in conversation or perhaps by email? The effects of this will probably be quite clear: your workmate will be happy to receive some praise and, in addition, you will probably feel good about yourself for having spread a little joy.

What are ‘random acts of kindness’?

Many organisations try to encourage people to do kind acts, wherever and whenever they can. The idea behind this is that it doesn’t take any major plan to be kind, just a little bit of effort. Perhaps the strongest supporters of this idea are the Random Acts of Kindness (RAK) Foundation, who work with schools and companies to teach people kindness skills. They operate under the beliefs that kindness can be taught and that it is contagious. Their activities range from suggesting kind acts to allowing their website-users to become ‘RAKtivists’ (people who officially register themselves as activists of kindness).

How can I be kind?

Apart from using your own common sense, the RAK website suggests some more imaginative ways to show kindness. Generally, these fall into three categories. The first is interpersonal kindness. Some examples are donating old clothes to charity or writing a positive online comment about a restaurant that you like. The second is environmental kindness, which could mean simply recycling or organising a group event to clean a local park or beach. The third category is less obvious: personal kindness, which means treating yourself kindly. Some examples are taking a walk in nature or setting yourself an objective to complain less. The logic is that by being kind to yourself, you will automatically be kinder to the world around you.

What is World Kindness Day?

This is an annual celebration which takes place on 13 November each year. The day is marked in many countries, drawing attention to the amazing work of organisations and individuals in local communities. How do people celebrate this day? Well, by being kind … and having lots of fun. One typical event is to use ‘kindness cards’. These are small cards which you hand to somebody when you do a kind act for them – with the message that now it is the other person’s turn to ‘pass on’ the card by doing a kind act for another person.

Most experts on kindness agree that it has a sort of ripple effect. This means that one kind action tends to lead to more and more. So don’t wait for kindness to find you today, go and start a new ripple!

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Intermediate: B1

Comments

Definitely kindness is contagious, when your kind to yourself and to others those people will be prompted to be kind to others too. Though sometimes people take our acts of kindness for granted and some don't even appreciate. But it's worth helping others and being kind especially those who are vulnerable.

I get your point, CISSY, it's contagious. So people often advise me (who is vulnerable!) to take precautions against unkind people and make good friends. :)

Hi admins,

I think I need a comma in my sentence. Is is right? Please help me by modifying. :) "This is my drawback but I sometimes need to take precautions against people who see me by different standards[,] to make a space where kindness can be appreciated.

Hi Rafaela1,

Yes, I think the sentence should have a comma there. I'd also add one  before 'but'.

'Drawback' isn't a word we use with regard to people, so something like 'flaw' would be better:

This is my flaw, but I sometimes need to take precautions against people who see me by different standards, to make a space where kindness can be appreciated.

 

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Hi Peter,
I appreciate your help!
Kind people like you are the best kind of people! ;)

I'm supposed to look like a person who is kind to myself, or easy on myself, but hard on others.... It brings up a valid point, because I can be kind to others and thankfully peopple are normally very kind to me. But to be honest, I don't agree that I'm soft on myself. I tend to see others by my own standard which sometimes makes people feel left behind. This is my drawback but I sometimes need to take precautions against people who see me by different standards to make a space where kindness can be appreciated.

In my city people generally are not kind to each other. Actually many of them are kind people, but they are always in rush and angry or in their own world. By the way when you need help there are usually people who help you. I think they are kind people, but their behavior is not in a kind way.
People should be taught to be kind at school. teachers have important role to teach children how to be kind to each other. When some one talk to us in a bad way we'd better response in a kindly manner it may cause that person be ashamed of his or her behavior. We really need to control our behavior when we talk to each other. Maybe if we talk to some one kindly it would be more effective than the time you talk to a person imperative and roughly.
All of the people has some kind of problem, maybe they don't have time to think about other people. I think we should first be kind with ourselves it doesn't mean to be selfish, it means to spend time to be happy. When you are happier you definitely are kinder to other people too.

Totally agree with you.;)
As a tourist, I saw many kind people in the UK who were willing to help others. I thought people are well disciplined or that’s what people in wealthy countries can do. In my opinion, money doesn’t ensure a lifelong wealth! :)

Hello everyone,
I have a question about task 1:
I couldn't find anything about "Random acts of kindness are often spontaneous."
I just find"kindness can be taught and that it is contagious."
can you please help me why the answer of this question is true?

Hello parisaach

When we wrote that question, we were thinking of the sentence 'The idea behind this is that it doesn't take any major plan to be kind, just a little bit of effort.' But I can see how that the answer is not very obvious, because that sentence doesn't refer to frequency at all and the question clearly does. Therefore I've changed the question slightly so that it doesn't refer to frequency.

Thanks very much for pointing this out to us!

All the best

Kirk

The LearnEnglish Team

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