Kindness keeps us together

Everyone can contribute to preventing and alleviating other’s suffering
Kindness keeps us together
"World Red Cross Day is a yearly commemoration of the main principles of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement." [Representational Image] Flickr [Creative Commons]

Each year, 8th May is celebrated as World Red Cross Day across the globe. It marks the world Red Cross and Red Crescent Day as well as the birth anniversary of Sir Jean Henry Dunant, who was born in Geneva in the year 1928 and is the founding father of the international Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, and the joint recipient of the first Noble Peace Prize.

World Red Cross Day is a yearly commemoration of the main principles of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement. This is an opportunity to offer our medical services to the needy. It is also the day to honour all those who gave their helping hand in order to serve the mankind.

The international Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement is a global humanitarian network of millions of members, Staff and volunteers. Their aim is to be on the frontline where there is disaster, conflict, health or social problems and to help those in need.

The organisation consists of the International Committee of the Red Cross, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent societies as well as 191 National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies worldwide.

There are around one billion volunteers globally and 10 million in India who participate in varied humanitarian aid activities of the World Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement.

World Red Cross and Red Crescent Day was first celebrated in the year 1984. World Red Cross Day is celebrated by the People on the international level to alleviate people’s suffering, enhancing their dignity, protecting their life from emergencies and lots of natural disasters including epidemics diseases, floods and earthquakes.

Every year the day is celebrated with a unique theme and myriad activities are organised across the globe around the same theme. The theme for this year 2022 is “Be Humankind”,- Be kind whenever possible, it is always possible. We believe that everyone can contribute to preventing and alleviating other’s suffering.

Human beings are generally imbued with a desire to help others whether it is within their family, the clan, the village, the local club, the religious community or the national society, every time suffering is alleviated by a selfless gesture, the spirit of humanity triumphs over poverty, illness, the violence of man or the force of nature.

You don’t have to be wealthy to provide support to needy people. All that one needs is a good and a noble heart. It can be anything as small as being humble and or giving someone emotional support.

An act of kindness can be as simple as smiling at a child who is crying, listening to someone attentively, complimenting someone, or saying ‘thanks’ to someone with a smile and also helping someone in a big way to come out of a life’s predicament.

Kindness may be described as being polite and considerate towards others. This is a quality that everyone should have. Each one of us has something to offer to the world.

Humans, as social beings need other’s kindness to survive. Kindness is the first dharma of a living body by keeping the divine qualities like kindness, compassion and gentleness in our heart, mankind can become more meaningful.

The couplet of saint Tulsidas describes this gesture aptly –“Kindness is the root of religion, sin is the root of pride, kindness should never be abandoned so long as there is life.” The central theme of Muslim Sufi saints can be briefly summed up: “Be kind enough to the creatures of God and follow the path of righteousness ordained by Almighty Allah.”

The famous Persian poet, Hafiz Shirazi, has aptly said: “The comfort and convenience of the two worlds lies in the meaning of these two letters/words - be kind to your friends and dear ones; also take due care of your enemies.”

First and the foremost principle of Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement is the principle of Humanity which signifies the expression of deep caring for the human being. The principle of humanity transcends the vagaries of war. Kindness – the gesture of tenderness and comfort is not an ordinary virtue.

Kindness is strength that meaningfully impacts all living creatures. The virtue can be learned and inculcated in the personality in order to live a fulfilling and better life. Nevertheless, in day to day life, many people ignore acts of kindness.

They think nothing will change in the world if today I remain unkind. We must understand that not a single act of kindness is worthless. We have to understand it. Mercy provides inner peace. People who do charitable work are found to be happier than those who work only for themselves.

Love and kindness are never wasted. They always make a huge difference in people’s lives. It is a type of behaviour marked by acts of generosity, consideration, or concern for others, without expecting praise or reward.

Past months and years have been marked by multiples crises that have spared no one and have hit the most vulnerable people the hardest -- from covid-19 to the climate crisis, humanitarian emergencies and escalating conflicts.

But despite this, there is so much hope and humanity to be found in the form of acts of kindness. Acts of kindness have the power to spark a ripple effect, to multiply, to spread across committees, countries and the whole world. It is the duty of every human to serve humanity and we must always do so to extend our contribution towards Red Cross and the Red Cross Movement.

With each helping hand, we can bring big change in the lives of people around us. Each and every helping hand counts when the society needs help. Kindness really matters. So be kind always and help the needy, the poor and the vulnerable. Kindness will keep us together.

World Red Cross Day is a reminder that it is the duty of each one of us to remember all those who gave their lives in the services of the needy.

Let us take inspiration from all those helping hands us who served the society in the times of need and do our little bit for the society. Let us come together to be more helpful towards those who are needy by offering our voluntary services whenever and wherever required.

On the occasion of world Red Cross Day 2022, let us join hands to make everyone in this world healthier and happier. Let us pledge to alleviate human suffering and wipe every tear “I Wish you all a very Happy Red Cross Day!”

The author is former Director General Economics and Statistics, J&K and Honorary Treasure J&K Red Cross

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are the personal opinions of the author.

The facts, analysis, assumptions and perspective appearing in the article do not reflect the views of GK

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