#KindnessMatters amid COVID-19 pandemic
In 1903, author John Watson, using his pseudonym Ian Maclaren, wrote, "Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle."
It has been almost 120 years since Watson (1850-1907) wrote this for the British Weekly but what he said is even more valuable today amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
The World Health Organization (WHO) said as of September 1, there are 25,327,098 cases of COVID-19 in 216 countries and territories as well as 848,255 confirmed deaths.
In the Philippines, there have been 224,264 confirmed cases of COVID-19 as of September 1, including 62,655 active cases. The death toll from the disease as of September 1 was 3,597.
WHO, as well as the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) urged people to show kindness as a way of supporting their loved ones during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Kindness, according to the Mayo Clinic, does not refer only to one's behavior.
"The art of kindness means harboring a spirit of helpfulness, as well as being generous and considerate, and doing so without expecting anything in return. Kindness is a quality of being. The act of giving kindness often is simple, free, positive and healthy," the Mayo Clinic said.
Kindness is good for one's well-being too. "Kindness has been shown to increase self-esteem, empathy and compassion, and improve mood. It can decrease blood pressure and cortisol, a stress hormone, which directly impacts stress levels," the Mayo Clinic noted.
Harvard Health Publishing also supports this notion as it cited a study where "researchers found that being kind to ourselves or to anyone else — yes, even a stranger — or actively observing kindness around us boosted happiness."
Simple ways to show kindness
There are countless little ways we could do to show kindness during the COVID-19 pandemic, including:
(1) Checking up on family and friends to via Viber, Messenger, Zoom or other means to know how they are doing during the COVID-19 pandemic;
(2) Being careful how we communicate with others and making sure that we are kind and not rude or judgmental;
(3) Supporting local businesses;
(4) Joining local fund drives for frontliners or marginalized people, and
(5) Praying for others.
You might also want to check out the website of the Random Acts of Kindness Foundation to get ideas on how you can show kindness to others and help build "a better normal."