It sometimes seems like the world is getting meaner and more divisive by the day. However, there is also evidence to the contrary. Many individuals and organizations are harnessing the power of the internet, including social media, to do good. These varied groups are part of a slowly simmering “kindness movement” that has roots as far back as the late 1990s. Here are just a few examples of how kindness is trending.
The World Kindness Movement
Formed in 1997, The World Kindness Movement (TWKM) is an international organization that is considered a leading body in the kindness trend. Its mission is to foster goodwill via “collaborations in kindness,” with a roster of members from 27 nations around the globe. This large organization holds regular assemblies and council meetings, and has decreed November 13 to be “World Kindness Day.” Individuals can join TWKM, and are responsible for conducting and documenting projects and activities related to kindness in their communities.
The Kindness Rocks Project
Based on the belief that “a message at just the right moment can change your whole day,” the Kindness Rocks Project started when Megan Murphy, a writer and business coach who lives in New England, was grieving from the loss of her parents. She took regular beach walks and started to associate the heart-shaped rocks that she’d seek and find with messages from her loved ones. Realizing that others also desire answers to their heart’s questions, Murphy began writing inspirational notes on beach stones in the hope that they’d be comforting to those who discovered them. The project’s ambassador program connects individuals from around the world to help build a larger community for painting and placing inspirational rocks.
The nonprofit Kindness.org is aimed at educating and inspiring people to “choose kindness.” Their Kindlab hub is a repository of research and data, including academic articles and video clips that the organization has developed. Kindness.org also collects and publishes personal stories that strive to counter negative headlines by demonstrating the real power of kindness in everyday life.