Singapore Kindness Movement (SKM) recently hosted the 11th annual Kindness Day SG (KDSG) at PLQ Plaza, bringing together people from various sectors to celebrate and promote kindness. With the theme “Amp Up Your Kindness!” this year’s event aimed to encourage individuals and organizations to go the extra mile in showing appreciation and fostering a more caring and gracious Singapore.
The event witnessed the participation of 101 organizations and received overwhelming support from the public, showcasing the power of kindness in our society. In an exclusive interview, Dr William Wan, General Secretary of SKM, shares insights into the significance of Kindness Day SG and the role of kindness and graciousness in building a stronger, united society.
Amp up your kindness, Singapore!
Celebrated annually since its inception in 2013, Kindness Day SG holds great significance in fostering a kinder and more gracious society in Singapore. Serving as a unifying platform for the community, this event brings together people from diverse backgrounds to celebrate and promote kindness. It goes beyond a one-day celebration, inspiring individuals and organizations to continue spreading kindness throughout the year, creating a positive ripple effect that permeates society.
Themed “Amp Up Your Kindness,” the 11th Kindness Day SG aims to build upon the kindness already prevalent in Singapore. The event seeks to encourage everyone to take kindness to the next level, going beyond simple appreciation to active reciprocation of kind acts. By amplifying the existing culture of kindness, we can create a society that is even more caring and gracious.
During the 11th Kindness Day SG, SKM welcomed new members into its Kindred Spirit Circle, including Ground-up Movements (GUMs), Voices of Loving Kindness (VoLKs), and Organised Kindness Initiatives and Enterprises (OKIEs). This induction recognizes the vital role these partners play in promoting kindness within the Singapore community, further solidifying SKM’s position as a movement where everyone actively contributes to building a kinder nation.
In an exclusive interview, Dr William Wan, General Secretary of SKM, shares his insights into the importance of kindness and graciousness in society, and the steps individuals and communities can take to build deeper connections within their neighbourhoods.
“Kindness and graciousness are essential for the well-being and harmony of society,” Dr Wan emphasizes. By prioritizing kindness in our everyday interactions, we foster a culture of empathy, understanding, and respect. These values lead to stronger social connections, increased happiness, and improved mental well-being for individuals.
Dr Wan further highlights the significance of building deeper connections among neighbours and communities. Active engagement in community activities and events, volunteering, and genuine interest in others’ lives are key to fostering authentic connections. Small gestures like greeting neighbours, offering a helping hand, or organizing communal activities can create a sense of belonging and togetherness within neighbourhoods.
However, in a fast-paced, digitally connected world, interpersonal relationships can sometimes be neglected. Dr Wan suggests promoting offline engagement, organizing face-to-face interactions, and participating in community events to encourage people to invest time and effort in nurturing relationships. Additionally, leveraging the digital world can provide platforms to spread the message of kindness to remote areas and promote a sense of camaraderie within the wider Singaporean community.
There is a need to integrate kindness values and empathy-building programs early on
To cultivate kindness as a long-lasting and sustainable practice, a multi-faceted approach is required. Dr Wan emphasizes the importance of integrating kindness values and empathy-building programs into education, starting from early childhood through schools and continuing into adulthood. Public awareness campaigns, media engagement, and community initiatives serve as reminders and reinforcements of kindness in everyday life. Recognizing and celebrating acts of kindness can inspire others to follow suit, creating a positive social norm.
Singapore’s multicultural society presents a unique opportunity to promote inclusivity and understanding through acts of kindness. Dr Wan suggests encouraging intercultural interactions, promoting cultural exchange events, and fostering an inclusive environment where all individuals feel respected and valued. By demonstrating empathy and compassion towards different cultures, we can bridge divides and foster a greater sense of unity.
The ongoing pandemic has highlighted the importance of kindness and deeper connections among neighbours and communities. Dr Wan emphasizes that kindness creates a support system within communities, alleviating feelings of isolation and strengthening our social fabric. By checking in on neighbours, offering assistance, and showing empathy, we can build resilience as a society and navigate through difficult times with strength and compassion.
SKM’s efforts extend beyond the annual Kindness Day SG. They actively promote kindness in schools and workplaces, collaborating with educators to integrate kindness values into curricula. Through workshops, assemblies, and kindness projects, SKM instils empathy and positive values in students, shaping them into kind and gracious individuals. In workplaces, SKM encourages organizations to create a culture of kindness through internal campaigns, training programs, and recognition initiatives, fostering positive interactions and extending kindness beyond the workplace.
Dr Wan’s vision for Singapore envisions kindness and graciousness deeply embedded in the fabric of society. He believes in a future where acts of kindness and graciousness are an integral part of daily life. With a collective effort from individuals, families, schools, workplaces, and the government, Singapore can become a society known not only for its achievements but also for its compassion, unity, and harmony. This vision entails stronger social bonds, increased well-being, and a shared sense of pride in our collective kindness.
As the 11th Kindness Day SG came to a close, its impact reverberates throughout Singapore. The event served as a reminder that kindness has the power to transform individuals and communities, creating a more caring and gracious society. Through continued efforts, Singapore strives to be a beacon of kindness, inspiring the world with its compassionate spirit and nurturing a culture where acts of kindness are second nature to all.