The Week Dedicated to an Annual Celebration of Kindness: It’s Past and Current iUP Legacy

Eve Bamber, Editor-in-Chief

Kindness is one of the many things that is different in the eyes of the beholder. Acts of kindness, no matter how large or small, most simply promote compassion and empathy as they release positivity into our lives. However you may exhibit kindness or experience it from others, it’s undeniable that kindness in any form simply makes our world a better place to live in. 


Taking place on August 25th – August 31st every year is the global celebration known as Be Kind to Humankind Week. Be Kind to Humankind (BK2HK) Week ultimately aims to, as stated on their website, “…promote kindness, happiness, and cohesion between people from all walks of life.” Each day of this week-long celebration has a specific purpose in mind, such as speaking kind words and forgiving your foe, to contribute to an all-together goal of increasing the amount of kindness we both exhibit and receive in our everyday lives. 


History of Be Kind to Humankind Week


In August of 1988 in New Jersey, Lorraine Jara had spent her morning reading the newspaper. Like the large amounts of news we discover throughout our lives, Jara came across a particularly distressing article. She read about an accident that had occurred and how the turn of events led to a devastating end. Jara immediately felt something should be done in light of this situation she had read about, however, most of her efforts were respectfully denied. Her thought process eventually led her to think about the already existing ‘Be Kind to Animals Week’ and the realization of how the creation of a ‘Be Kind to HumanKind Week’ might be in order. Jara simply explains, “People need people; it’s as simple as that. In order to have the power to make the world a better place, we must first change our attitudes for the better. We can create our own good news if we choose to do so!” 


Be Kind to Humankind Week has continued since August 1988 as an effort by Founder Lorraine Jara to further inspire, motivate, and empower those around the world to be kind to each other.


The Breakdown of Be Kind to Humankind Week


Be Kind to Humankind Week is a 7-day long celebration, with each day dedicated to serving a specific purpose. 


Willing to Lend a Hand Wednesday – August 25th, 2021: On the Wednesday of BK2HK Week, individuals are encouraged to turn their attention to someone else. Ask yourself how you can better someone else’s life on this day. Examples of acts of kindness that can take place on Willing to Lend a Hand Wednesday could include washing the dishes after dinner, helping a classmate with their work, or offering to bring in or collect a neighbor’s mail.


Thoughtful Thursday – August 26th, 2021: The Thursday of BK2HK Week is the perfect day to dedicate time to be thoughtful of those around you. On Thoughtful Thursday, strive to be considerate and mindful of other people, including your friends, family, peers, teachers, and others. By being aware of this goal on Thoughtful Thursday, try to complete small contributing acts such as holding the door for someone, saying please and thank you, and leaving a nice note for a classmate or friend.


Forgive Your Foe Friday – August 27th, 2021: The task of forgiving someone who has wronged you, is not always the simplest feat. On Forgive Your Friday, attempt to find it in your heart to forgive others, even in some circumstances yourself, and aim to eliminate any hatred, anger, or negativity you might feel. To accomplish this, try meditating to clear your mind, make sure to forgive yourself when you make a mistake, and practice turning negative thoughts into positive ones. 


Speak Kind Words Saturday – August 28th, 2021: The phrase ‘sticks and stones may break my bones, but words can never hurt me,’ in most of our experiences has been found to be inaccurate. Sometimes the words you speak can cut far deeper than intended. Knowing just how powerful words can be, Speak Kind Words Saturday gives us a chance to remember their impact as we try to not only be aware of what we say, but how we say it, and further remind ourselves that in a growing virtual world, we shouldn’t text anything we wouldn’t want everybody to read. 


Sacrifice Our Wants for Other’s Needs Sunday – August 29th, 2021: On Sunday, let your desires take the backseat for the day and put someone else’s needs in the front seat. While this may not be the easiest thing in the world, directing attention towards someone else is sometimes more rewarding than it sounds. On this day, attempt to spend the day completing tasks such as cooking a meal for your family, donating your money instead of spending it aimlessly, or volunteering your time.


Motorist Consideration Monday – August 30th, 2021: It’s not uncommon that people can get very stressed when traveling, whether it be by car, plane, bike, bus, train, or foot. Motorist Consideration Monday is a day dedicated to practicing patience, consideration, and mindfulness to others while traveling.  You can accomplish this by always yielding to pedestrians, making sure not to carry personal anger into road rage, or ensuring you aren’t texting while driving and walking.


Touch a Heart Tuesday – August 31st, 2021: Touch a Heart Tuesday is a perfect opportunity to show others how much you care for them. A little bit of love goes a long way, and by showing it, you can make someone’s day. Some things you can do on Touch a Heart Tuesday include offering someone a meaningful compliment, leaving a short note for someone to let them know how much you appreciate them, and practice being a good listener instead of occupying most of a conversation. 


Challenge yourself this year to make the most out of BK2HK week, by participating each day in small acts of kindness such as those listed above, with each day’s specific goal in mind. Encourage your friends, family, and peers to participate in like-minded activities, and spread the word about how others can celebrate this week!


The Current Legacy of Be Kind to Humankind Week at iUniversity Prep


The climate of kindness at UniversityPrep is one of the many things that sets this school apart. With teachers who are always there to help as well as take the time to assist you in the best way possible, along with a supportive peer network, iUniversity Prep accomplishes the goal of BK2HK Week in a unique way that other schools don’t. 


Here at iUP, there are a variety of ways provided that you can get involved with throughout the year as a student to create, share, and encourage kindness, even in a virtual environment!


One group, iUniversity Prep’s Owl Pals, the veteran Owls of iUP who work to ensure that all new students experience a welcome environment and seamless transition into virtual learning, are the perfect example of the time and effort iUP puts into spreading kindness, and ensuring that the needs of others are met. Aside from working to welcome new students into a friendly and comforting environment, the Owl Pals also continue their role throughout the year as they complete monthly service challenges to better the community around them. The Owls Pals at iUP encompass many of the BK2HK values including ones shown on days like ‘Thoughtful Thursday’ and ‘Sacrifice Our Wants For Others Needs Saturday.’


Along with Owl Pals, iUniversity Prep has an Instagram account dedicated to iUP positivity, known as @you.are.owlsome. This account provides an opportunity for students (and teachers) to submit a positive message that will be posted on the account in order to make somebody’s day. The account’s purpose is to uplift every student and teacher at iUP and continue to spread kindness as often as possible, exhibiting several of the BK2HK goals such as ‘Speak Kind Words Saturday’ and ‘Touch a Heart Tuesday,’ all year round!


The Future of Be Kind to Humankind Week


“Kindness is free! Sprinkle that stuff everywhere!” Though Be Kind to Humankind Week is specifically dedicated to ensuring kindness is spread, there has never been a limit on when or where you can participate in acts of kindness. Just one of the perks of kindness is the lack of having a particular season, as seen in the year-long efforts being done by iUniversity Prep’s Owl Pals and @you.are.owlsome Instagram account. This annual celebration simply reminds us that we are not to put a cap on kindness. Be sure to treat kindness like a boomerang; if you throw it often, it’ll circle its way back to you.



Be Kind to Humankind Week,