iCarol celebrates “Be Kind to Humankind” Week
The Be Kind to Humankind movement started 26 years ago following a tragedy. Lorraine Jara of Toms River, NJ read an article about two young men that were boating in the town’s waterways when their row boat overturned. They were helped by two others, who were also in a small boat, but with no motor or radio to call for help they were in a dire situation. Several motor operated boaters passed them by and ignored or refused their calls for help, one reportedly saying that they “didn’t want to be bothered” with the situation. After finally being rescued, one of the young men died.
Be Kind to Humankind promotes a simple but profound message: Be compassionate towards your fellow humans, and take time to help them. It recognizes the idea that we all need each other to get by in the world, and from time to time we really need one another’s help. Simple acts of kindness performed all around the world every day make the world a better place.
Be Kind to Humankind week is an annual, worldwide celebration of kindness that is recognized from August 25 to August 31 each year. Each day of this week represents and suggests a specific theme.
Sunday is to Show them that you care. A day when we sacrifice our wants for others’ needs. Let your desires come second and give a little something extra to those in need, like:
- Pick up groceries for someone who can’t go to the store themselves
- Visit sick children in the hospital
- Mow an elderly or disabled neighbor’s lawn
- Cook a meal for a sick friend or neighbor
- Offer to walk the neighbor’s dog if he or she is unable to
Monday is for Motorist consideration. Practice patience especially when travelling by car, but also when going by bike, public transit, or on foot.
- Make room for people trying to merge into your lane
- Be cautious of emergency vehicles, and no rubber necking!
- Slow down
- Obey all laws, like yielding to pedestrians, wear your seatbelt, and never drive under the influence of drugs or alcohol
On Touch A Heart Tuesday, show your love towards others. Love is eternal and it goes a long way.
- Tell those that you love, “I love you”
- Write a letter to a special someone
- Give lots of compliments
- Mail an uplifting card to someone who is hurting
Wednesday is a day to be Willing to lend a hand. Offer someone your time, advice, or help in some way.
- Take care of a neighbor’s home or animals when they are away
- Make someone dinner
- Do a few chores or a household task for someone who needs an extra hand
- Volunteer to help on a community project
On Thoughtful Thursday, be mindful of those around you who are having concerns, thoughts, or troubles that you might not be aware of. Try harder to break free from your own concerns and be aware of the feelings and needs of others. Do small things that may brighten someone’s day when they really need it.
- Ask others how they are doing, and say it in a way where they know you really want the honest answer
- Always say “Please” “Thank you” and “Excuse me”
- Let others ahead of you in line
- Hold doors open for others
- Give up your seat on the bus or subway to someone who needs it
Friday is a day to Forgive your Foe. Release any anger, animosity, grudges, or hard feelings you may be holding against others.
- Forgive someone who showed indifference to you when you really needed them
- Be the first to make a move towards reconciliation
- Put yourself in the shoes of the person who wronged you
- Forgive yourself, too!
On Saturday, Speak kind words. What we say has a deep impact on everyone around us. Words are powerful and people will never forget the way your words made them feel, whether those words were positive or negative. Make the lasting impact a positive one.
- Do not gossip
- Create a filter between your brain and mouth, think before you speak
- Teach your children to speak kindly
- Be aware of not just what you’re saying, but how you’re saying it
We can take some or all of these steps each week of our lives, but Be Kind to Humankind week is a great time to start these new, positive habits. There’s one month left before Be Kind to Humankind week, which gives us all lots of time to reflect on how we can be kinder to others, and plan some special acts of kindness to show others how much we care.
Dana joined the iCarol team in 2013 after 12 years of direct service and administrative duties at a suicide prevention, crisis intervention, and empathetic listening helpline that also served as a 2-1-1 information and referral service. As the Communications and Social Media Manager at iCarol, you’ll find her presenting Webinars, Tweeting, Blogging, Facebooking, and producing other materials that aid helplines in their work.
In her spare time, Dana enjoys birdwatching, gardening, animal caregiving, and spending time with her family.