Have you ever pondered the word “humankind”? Aside from the dictionary definition that it means, “human beings collectively; the human race”, it appears to be the blending of two words. We have human, and we have kind.
We know the meaning of the word human; we’re humans. One definition of kind is a group or classification of things or beings having common characteristics. Another definition of kind is having a generous, friendly, considerate attitude or nature.
I wonder if the people who came up with the idea for “Be kind to humankind week” did this wordplay in their minds. Just speak the word, humankind, aloud several times. After several repetitions the word seems like a simple sentence or command. “Human kind!” We see other humans we must be kind. Perhaps, Hey human! Be kind. By extension, we come up with, “Be kind to humankind.”
Regardless of who and how be kind to humankind week invented the celebration, they did come up with seven ways to be kind, to fill up a week.
The first day is demonstrating compassion for others. The second day is devoted to showing courtesy to fellow motorists and pedestrians. Day three is performing random acts of kindness. On day four, we focus on lending a helping hand to someone in need. Day five is for practicing courteous behavior and going out of our way to being thoughtful. The sixth day is set aside to practice forgiveness. We’re reminded not to be too stingy or selective about this practice. The seventh day is to cultivate the habit of speaking encouragingly and kindly to other people. Use skillful speech.
I’m not sure about the configuration of Be kind to humankind week. All the sources I checked simply noted the last seven days of August. Perhaps the originators meant the last full week or maybe not. I don’t think it matters. Personally, I started the week last Thursday, the 25th. As long as a person goes along with the agenda for seven consecutive days, why should it matter whether or not the sequence begins on a Sunday?
Today, is my day to focus on being considerate and practicing good etiquette. Maybe it’s my neighbor’s day to concentrate on being a kind motorist. There’s nothing wrong with mix and match for this commemoration. For that matter, why restrict be kind to humankind to only one week out of the year? Some folks might choose to celebrate it once every four months, every month, or four times per month.
Even once per year is still a good reminder about how life can be made better for others and ourselves when we’re kind to humankind. Regardless of when it is scheduled, I’d like to see Be kind to humankind week celebrated around the world with the kind of enthusiasm we have for the December holiday season.
The Blue Jay of Happiness ponders a verse written by Hafiz of Persia:
“Even after all this time,
The Sun never says to the Earth,
‘You owe me.’
Look what happens with
A love like that.
It lights the whole sky.”