Random Acts of Kindness Day

Image%3A+Courtesy+of+Shutterstock

Image: Courtesy of Shutterstock

Siggy Gierhart, Staff Writer

Every year on February 17, the world celebrates a day of spreading kindness. Even though this significant day has not been around for very long, kindness has always been around throughout history. It may seem like one act won’t accomplish much, but it can lead to many positive outcomes. One can never go wrong with kindness, and there can never be too much of it.

Random Acts of Kindness Day was created in 1995 in Denver, Colorado, by a nonprofit organization called The Random Acts Of Kindness Foundation. Will Glennon, who is currently the Chairman of World Kindness, USA, started the foundation with a mission to “Inspire -> Empower -> Act -> Reflect -> Share.” Since 1995, the foundation has grown greatly and has developed its own social-emotional learning curriculum for grades kindergarten through senior year of high school. This gives students all over the world a place to express positive thoughts and learn about healthy strategies. 

  “While academics are important during this time of distancing, we believe social-emotional skills are incredibly valuable to our mental health,” says the Random Acts of Kindness Foundation on its website. 

There are also many historical events that occurred in celebration of this day. For instance, In 1993, Tupac Shakur, a famous 90’s rapper,  received a letter from a young terminally-ill boy named Joshua, saying it was his last wish to meet Tupac. Tupac then flew out to Maryland to meet him. When Joshua passed away, Tupac changed the name of his publishing company to “Joshua’s Dream.” In 1987 Princess Diana shook the hand of a man with AIDS, changing and challenging the belief that the disease is transmittable by touch. Then, in 2009, Caitlin Boyle began sticking sticky notes with positive messages in public places to encourage self-love, creating Operation Beautiful. Jon Bon Jovi’s restaurant ‘Soul Kitchen’ was founded in 2011, and still open today in New Jersey, does not include menu prices. Instead, it accepts donations for meals, or if you can’t afford it, you can volunteer in the kitchen as payment.

There are many ways to express kindness, whether for someone you know or the community around you. On this day, remember kindness is key: plant a tree, donate your services or unused items to a local shelter/organization, give, offer compliments to strangers and friends and family, eat local, and reuse paper. It’s also important to remember to be kind to yourself, go to your favorite spot, try something new, laugh often, and fuel your body with what makes you happy.