It’s very easy to get swept up in buying gifts for your loved ones over the holidays. But sometimes we ourselves are gift enough. Take a moment on November 13th, World Kindness Day, to put some joy back into the universe with these pointers from Aveda Tribal Elder Shiv Nath Tandon.
Aveda: Why is it important to be kind?
Aveda Tribal Elder Shiv Nath Tandon: Being kind is as good for you as it is for others. It balances the ego and connects one to others, so as to avoid having a narrow-minded, self-important personality. It reminds you that you are not living in a silo—you are not the only human being on this planet—there are others with the same emotions and feelings as you.
Aveda: Why do we need a kinder world right now?
Shiv Nath: When we are gentle, we are stronger people. When we open up ourselves through kindness, we blossom and this is good for everyone. We should give the gift of kindness to all without expecting anything in return.
Aveda: What’s an easy way to be kind to others?
Shiv Nath: Smile. If I smile and show respect for someone, they will see that and open up. They will in turn smile back feeding into the kindness. It is a nano-second of time that results in a big feeling of warmth and kindness for both involved. With just one smile—one conscious effort to be kind—there is a ripple effect on society. Also, once you make that effort, it becomes a habit and soon you’re labeled a kind person. And what better label?!
Aveda: Why is it important to be kind during a busy holiday season?
Shiv Nath: When you focus on easy moments of kindness, it naturally helps relieve stress for yourself and for others.
Here are three ways in which you can show kindness on World Kindness Day and beyond:
1. Kindness for people: Remember the elderly and homebound. Many people have nowhere to go during the holidays, with families spread across the country. Take time to visit them, bring them gifts, or invite them to your home. The stories they tell can be an incredible gift to you.
2. Kindness for the environment: Use timers for your holiday lights to reduce your energy use, from the strands adorning your trees to the lights outside.
3. Kindness for animals: Don’t forget about the wildlife in your backyard. Consistently supplying seeds and nuts in bird feeders can make life lot easier during the winter months and may save small birds and mammals survive the winter. Provide clean water every day. When it is below freezing wildlife has no access to water. Invest in a birdbath heater and enjoy the beauty of nature all year long.