World Kindness Day 2019

World Kindness Day falls on the 13th November with a pledge to make kindness the norm. Interestingly, this year the day coincides with the birth of an individual who championed kindness, compassion, respect, love and truth – Guru Nanak Dev Ji, the first Guru of the Sikh Faith, and an individual who brought together many communities throughout his lifetime. 

Guru Nanak was born in Talwandi, now known as Nankana Sahib in Pakistan. He had two best friends, one was a Muslim and one was a Hindu, and both respected his central message that the whole of humanity is one family, with One Creator. To understand kindness, we need to understand what the barriers to it are. According to Guru Nanak, divisions, hatred, pride or ego, vengeance and other vices cause us to act out in ways that are unkind. His solution was to practice forgiveness and love. 

In truth, as humans we are all fallible – we will continue to make mistakes throughout our lives, and perfection is a state we can only dream of. Whilst we may endeavour to do better and be better, we also need to forgive ourselves and others for the actions of the past. In this way, kindness can blossom in all of us. 

We can take many lessons from the life of Guru Nanak, but his legacy would be magnified if, on a daily basis, we practiced his message of love and kindness towards all.