The first World Kindness Day was in 1998, and it has been celebrated every year since. It is hosted by the World Kindness Movement, who says the day's purpose is just what the name implies.
"The mission of the WKM is to inspire individuals towards greater kindness and to connect nations to create a kinder world," according to the group's website.
Here are 21 random acts of kindness you can do to celebrate.
- Give out at least three compliments today.
- Pick up the tab for the person behind you in line -- at the cafe, in the grocery store, even in the drivethru.
- Write a list of things you love about a family member or friend and give it to them.
- Deliver flowers to hospital patients (or get involved with an organization that does just that).
- Spread the digital love: Leave a positive note on someone's Facebook page or endorse them on LinkedIn.
- While walking down the street, pretend someone dropped a dollar and hand them a buck of your own.
- Are you a teacher or student? Leave an anonymous sticky note with a positive message on someone's locker.
- Tell someone thank you. Start with custodians, teachers, nurses or anyone who you feel is under-appreciated.
- Volunteer to teach English classes and take an interest in the other person's culture.
- Call your mom. (No really, she misses you.)
- Donate a copy of your favorite book to a library.
- Calling in an IT whiz to help with a tech problem? Change the background of the device they'll be fixing to say something nice about them.
- Start an online fundraising page to help someone cover medical bills, accomplish a goal or fulfill a dream.
- You know those passive aggressive notes people leave on poorly parked cars? Do the opposite! Write a "thank you for taking the time to park well" note.
- While out shopping, hide notes in clothing merchandise pockets with body positive messages.
- Adopt a rescue animal or volunteer at your local shelter.
- Stop to talk to someone you see every day. Learn their names, and be sure to greet them the next time you see them.
- Increase your vocabulary while helping end world hunger on freerice.com. For every answer you get right, sponsors donate to the World Food Programme.
- At the grocery store, buy an extra treat and give it to the cashier or grocery bagger.
- Let the night workers know they're a part of the team: Leave baked goods for someone who works an overnight shift at your office.
- Encourage others to pass it on by leaving them a kindness card.
These ideas are provided and inspired by the World Kindness Movement and its supporting organizations.