The World Kindness Movement: Small Acts To Promote A Kinder World

In 1963, when the president of the University of Tokyo was mugged after complaining about a commuter who cut in line, what surprised him the most was that no one helped him. Mr. Seiji Kaya turned this experience into a teaching moment: He urged his students to start a wave a kindness across Japan by practicing “small kindness.” The Japanese government backed his mission with the slogan, “Let us show whatever kindness we can, so that kindness will be the norm in society.” The initiative went global in 1997 — 34 years later — and became the World Kindness Movement.

Millions of people across the globe have added their own small acts of kindness to the wave. The mission of the World Kindness Movement is to “inspire individuals toward greater kindness and to connect nations to create a kinder world.” While there are events where members get together, there isn’t a formal plan of action. Instead, each individual and member nation that registers is encouraged to create ripples that spread kindness in the hope that each random act of kindness will be paid forward with another.

World Kindness Australia, for example, has introduced kindness cards. A person can order their own set of cards with a unique identifying number used to register it online. After witnessing an act of kindness, the cardholder offers a card to acknowledge the good deed. When the card recipient experiences another moment of kindness, they pass that card along again. Participants are encouraged to record their experiences online with the unique number, then follow the card’s journey to see how many “miles and smiles” have been logged since the original act. The point? To show that everyone is capable of kindness.

Ultimately, regardless of whether you’re a World Kindness Movement member, it only takes a moment to inspire others and promote a kinder world.

Image source: Flickr