Committee for Children Blog

10+ Ways to Inspire and Cultivate Kindness


Updated January 2022

On February 17, nations across the world will celebrate Random Acts of Kindness Day. Introduced by the Random Acts of Kindness Foundation, this day is meant to unify and inspire people to make kindness the norm. This February, broaden your positive impact through kindness with these ideas and resources.

Kindness connects people, bridging the divides of religion, gender, politics, race and culture. Kindness also cultivates happiness, especially when kind acts happen more than once, over time.1 Both the giver and receiver of a kind act can benefit from experiencing positive emotion. According to Dr. Richard J. Davidson of the Center for Healthy Minds, “the most expedient way of generating happiness and producing changes in the brain, in circuits that we know to be involved in happiness, is in fact to be generous and kind towards others.”2

“The Dalai Lama says that the best way to cultivate happiness for oneself is to be kind towards others, and it turns out that the hard-nosed research actually supports that.”
—Richard Davidson, Center for Healthy Minds2

Cultivate kindness in your classroom, school, family, and community by trying these ideas and resources:

  • Teach prosocial skills: Kindness needs to be nurtured to flourish, and students who are taught kindness are more empathetic, more socially aware, and more socially connected.3 Teaching students prosocial skills—such as active listening, respecting different perspectives, and identifying others’ feelings—promotes a climate for caring, kindness, and compassion, and fosters an environment where good deeds are the norm.  When people feel emotionally safe, supported, and included in positive relationships, there is a culture for kindness.
  • Kindness is contagious, so start spreading it: Even the smallest actions can spark kindness. The little gestures count. Students may have different understandings of kindness, so teach the various ways it can look like and sound like, using scenarios for students to distinguish between kind and unkind behaviors. Create social stories to talk about kindness. Share daily or weekly stories of positive, helpful, caring acts of other people. Model kind acts throughout the day. Add a “kindness minute” to your beginning- or end-of-day routine, asking students to point out kind actions they saw or performed. Ask “What did it feel like to do that? To see that?”
  • Make it a challenge: Give time and space for kind acts to happen. Challenge students to sign a declaration of support for kindness in your school. Add a kindness jar to the office, where students can add testimonials to generous, helpful responses they’ve seen in school. Share the stories regularly, anonymous or not, during morning announcements.
  • Don’t forget yourself: We sometimes focus so much on what we are doing for the students and our own children that we forget to be kind to ourselves. Adults need kindheartedness just as kids do. Give thoughtfulness and understanding to your colleagues, and make time to be kind to yourselves with loving-kindness practices.4

Be intentional in creating a kinder world. Whether your next act is shoveling someone’s driveway, holding the door open for a stranger, buying someone a coffee, or sending someone in need a “thinking of you” card, keep the intention alive. Ask yourself each day, “How will I extend my kindness today? What can I do to make the difference?”

Looking for more? Try these key resources on kindness:

The vision of the Center for Healthy Minds is focused on a kinder, more passionate world. It advances learning on topics related to compassion and kindness, highlighting the latest research from neuroscience, education and human development.

Committee for Children is an organization with a “Grow Kinder” focus. They provide resources for embedding kindness in bullying prevention practices with Captain Compassion and other activities to help stop bullying using kindness and respect. The organization also hosts the Grow Kinder podcast, which highlights the work of others who are leading efforts related to kindness.

Research References

1. Rowland, L. & Curry, O. S. (2019). A range of kindness activities boost happiness. Journal of Social Psychology, 159(3), 340-343.

2. Harcourt-Smith, J. (Host). (2013, April 5). What Is Innate Kindness? [Audio podcast 802]. Retrieved from

3. Swearer, S. (Author). (2017, July 26). Can kindness overcome bullying? [Blog post]. Retrieved from

4. McGehee, C. (Host). (2016, September 6). Loving-Kindness Practice for Teachers [Audio blog post].