Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Cities and Towns Celebrate Kindness

A message from your friends at the Connecticut Public Affairs Network...

Connecticut’s Kid Governor Elena has shared many great suggestions for kind acts that anyone can do on their own. But wouldn’t it be great if groups of people got together to explore the idea of kindness and see what they could do to make the world better?

That is the idea behind several different “Day of Kindness” gatherings that have taken place in the past year, all across the United States.

In October of 2015, the city of Philadelphia, PA (nicknamed the “City of Brotherly Love”) hosted the Philadelphia Day of Kindness, the first day of an entire month of kindness activities to celebrate the city’s 333rd birthday. The month of kindness included celebrations all across the city, with different kindness activities at each site. They included a musical celebration featuring Tibetan music in honor of the Dalai Lama, and Kindness in the Wind – a flag-making activity and art installation of flags made by people from all over saying and showing how we could be kind to one another.

Kindness flags fly in Philadelphia! Photo credit: Paul Kurtz

In addition to these celebrations, the people of Philadelphia encouraged each other to be kind in a lot of different ways:
  • They set up a Kindness Exchange, a webpage of different causes and organizations where people could donate their time, skills, or money.
  • They also started an online Wall of Intention, a place where visitors could pledge to do something kind with a simple fill-in-the-blank like this:
    • I intend to be kinder by ________________________
  • Their website even included a place where people could share stories about acts of kindness they had seen or been a part of. Check out the event and activities on their website!
In fact, going online is a good way to learn about other towns and groups who have hosted their own Kindness Days, and several of them offer not only great ideas for how to be kind, but also let you share your own ideas or stories of kindness!

In April 2015, a group in Meridian, Idaho, hosted a “Do the Right” Day of Kindness. The idea? Do something nice for the person to the right of you. See how it works here:

A group in Louisville, KY, has hosted a “Mighty Kindness Hoot” for the past nine years. This past June it featured a whole day of music, classes on being kind to the earth and each other, a community circle to share kindness ideas, and hugs from their mascot “Hootin’ Annie”! Here she is:
Hootin' Annie at Louisville's Mighty Kindness Hoot

Would any of these great kindness ideas work in your community? If so, talk to your parents and local elected officials! They can help you come up with a plan to bring these ideas to action in your town.