Be Kind to Humankind Week (BKHK) is a global celebration that takes place from August 25th-31st every weekend and strives to promote kindness, happiness and cohesion between people from all walks of life.
Each day of the seven-day celebration carries a specific goal. These goals can be adopted by anyone at any time and are often used to promote positivity in schools, home care facilities, workplaces and even correctional facilities. Each goal is accompanied by a simple, actionable statement of kindness, which can go a long way toward boosting morale in any environment.
Use these seven handy tips to make the most of Be Kind to Humankind Week this year:
Day One: Show Them That You Care
Day one of Be Kind to Humankind Week is all about demonstrating compassion, which makes it a great time to get involved in volunteer work. Find a cause that you’re passionate about and seek out an organization in your area that offers services. You could volunteer to dish out meals at the soup kitchen, run food deliveries for the local food bank, read to seniors at an assisted living home, bring some small gifts to children in a cancer ward or volunteer at the local women’s shelter.
Helping other people has been scientifically proven to do everything from increasing life span to boosting happiness and decreasing pain and there’s no time like now to show them that you care. Even if you only volunteer for a week, the time spent in service of others will benefit you for years to come.
Day Two: Drive Courteously
Road rage is all too common these days. Even if you don’t actively get out of your car to chase another one down the road screaming, most of us are guilty of being a little too aggressive at one point or another. All of this stems from the fact that we are constantly in a hurry, rushing from place to place, very absorbed in our own realities. Fortunately, day two of the Be Kind to Humankind celebration is meant to remedy this exact problem.
During day two of the celebration, focus on driving as courteously as possible. Check out this guide on how to be a more courteous driver or simply pay attention to the needs of others while on the road. Let someone into your lane, pull over promptly for emergency vehicles, avoid tailgating and make plenty of room for cyclists and pedestrians on the road. In addition to making you a more courteous driver and drastically reducing stress levels, these simple tips also help keep you and everyone around you safer on the road.
Day Three: Spread Kindness, One Heart at a Time
Kindness: it’s free, easy and it makes the world go around. Day three of the Be Kind to Humankind celebration is dedicated to encouraging kindness and helping people understand that kindness doesn’t have to be huge or showy. It is easy to carry out random acts of kindness and the third day of the BKHK celebration is the perfect place to begin.
Kindness is often as simple as writing a heart-felt “get well” card or cooking a meal for a family with a brand new baby. Other great ways to be kind include complimenting people, calling a loved one just to say hello, offering to watch a friend’s kids so the parents can have a special date night, encouraging someone’s dreams and plans or simply listening to a friend, loved one or stranger who is in distress. Being kind is easy and the ripple effect of genuine kindness and compassion truly has the power to change the world.
Day Four: Offer a Helping Hand
Have you ever driven by people picking up trash on the side of the road? What about the people who volunteer to organize charity events or community events? These people provide an important community service that increases the quality of life for many people and the fourth day of the BKHK celebration strives to encourage people to lend a helping hand.
There are many great ways to offer a helping hand and fantastic options include volunteering for a community project, helping a sick relative clean or go shopping, giving a hard-up acquaintance a ride to work or donating unused clothing, home goods or appliances to people in need. Lending a helping hand doesn’t just uplift the person receiving the help; it uplifts the person offering the help, as well.
Day Five: Treat Others Well
Being thoughtful and considerate is a powerful skill that has the potential to increase the quality of life for many people. On day five of the BKHK celebration, focus on being increasingly thoughtful of others. “Thoughtful Thursday,” as it is called by the celebration’s website, encourages simple actions like holding the door for a stranger, cooking lunch for someone in need, being supportive for friends and family in need and simply remembering to say things like “please” and “thank you.”
To take your thoughtfulness a step further, you could clip coupons for those in need or buy a struggling family some diapers or baby goods. It’s easy to be thoughtful and, although the actions required are simple, the practice is powerful.
Day Six: Come Together
Day six of the Be Kind to Humankind celebration is aptly termed “Forgive Your Foe Friday” and, you guessed it, this day is all about letting go of grudges and starting fresh. Although forgiveness is often easier said than done, learning to forgive is an integral part of living a healthy, cohesive, happy life.
Start your journey toward forgiveness by simply minding your thoughts and refusing to harbor negative, nasty or aggressive thoughts toward your so-called “foe.” When that gets easier, you can either reach out and attempt reconciliation or simply begin to temper back you feelings of anger and hurt toward this person. In the words of author and psychoanalyst Clarissa Pinkola Estes, “Forgiveness is an act of creation…You can forgive for now, forgive till then, forgive till the next time, forgive but give no more chances it’s a whole new game if there is another incident. You can give one more chance, give several more chances, give many chances, give chances only if. You can forgive part, all, or half of the offense. You can devise a blanket of forgiveness. You decide.”
No matter how you choose to forgive, rest assured that the act of forgiving will improve life for you and those around you.
Day Seven: Say Something Nice
“Speak Kind Words Saturday” is the last day of the Be Kind to Humankind celebration and is intended to encourage kind thoughts, actions and words. The words we speak inform our thoughts and actions and it is amazingly important to ensure that we are speaking kindly to one another and ourselves. Additionally, since speaking kindly can reduce stress and promote a better lifestyle, it is obvious that this simple tip benefits individuals as well as society at large.
On the seventh day of this celebration, focus on complimenting people you admire and encouraging kind words from others. Tell a friend that you love him or her or make it a point to thank someone for his or her hard work, kind deeds or special attention. Teach children to speak gently and avoid gossip. Although these actions are simple, they can go a long way toward encouraging kinder speech patterns and a more welcoming world.
Be Kind to Humankind week is a celebration that seeks to make the world a better place and enhance the quality of life for everyone who lives here. This week, focus on meeting each day’s objective and pay attention to how these simple practices transform your life, work and mind.