Origin of the word
Kindness comes from the Old English word ‘kyndnes’ meaning ‘nation’ or ‘produce, increase’. The word is further derived from the Middle English word ‘kindenes’ meaning ‘noble deeds’ or ‘courtesy’. The first recorded use of the word kindness was in the 14th century.
Kindness is a noun with both measurable and immeasurable uses, referring to undertakings of generosity or hospitality as well as general feelings of goodwill or friendship. In its countable form, kindness refers to a particular action: “Their offer of help was such a kindness in our time of grief.” In the uncountable form, the word kindness is a less specific term that refers to overall friendliness or warmth: “She showed great kindness to the ailing patient.”
13th November has been designated World Kindness Day, an international day of recognition highlighting good deeds, positivity and the common thread of kindness that binds all people around the globe. The World Kindness Movement, which organizes the celebration, encourage people to take time to reflect on acts of kindness they have experienced and how those good deeds have impacted their lives. Participants are further asked to reach out and perform small acts of kindness for others in their communities and across the world.
World Kindness Day was established in 1998 and is central to the mission of the World Kindness Movement, an international organization dedicated to sharing ideas and programmes to promote compassion and understanding. Through the global observation of World Kindness Day and other initiatives, the World Kindness Movement aims to inspire both individuals and communities to help create a world in which kindness can be used as a tool to forge a common bond, helping nations find unity despite differences.
There are many simple ways to celebrate World Kindness Day, most of which require little to no effort yet are sure to brighten someone’s day considerably. Praising a co-worker for a job well done, delivering items to an animal shelter or rescue centre, calling an old friend or paying for a stranger’s coffee are all wonderful ways to spread kindness on 13th November and beyond.
1. kind behaviour, or kind feelings; a kind action
View the full definition at the Macmillan Dictionary.