Did you know that Saturday, Nov. 13 is World Kindness Day? Me, neither. But I am glad to learn that bit of information, and I am all in. I believe in kindness as a way of life; I agree with Aesop, famed storyteller from ancient Delphi, Greece, known for Aesop’s Fables, when he wrote, “No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted.”

Having just returned from a month on Cape Cod (it was an amazing time, thank you for asking), I noticed acts of kindness with a visitor’s eyes. One of our favorite places for morning brunch is a small older place called the Heavenly Restaurant in Yarmouth. The whole team working there is kind! Without asking, when we had just been seated outdoors, the server brought Winky a bowl of fresh water and petted him as she put it down near him. Another server took our orders, and having overheard my grandson say that he was getting tired of French fries, suggested that he try the sweet potato fries instead, which turned out to be delicious and quickly became a favorite. As we prepared to pay our bill, another server asked if we would like to have our photo taken to which we said yes enthusiastically. His kindness captured a photo of our group on a sunny morning that made a sweet souvenir.

All small things, not earthshaking, but each person added to the overall pleasure and comfort of our experience. We went back there several more times for the good food, but even more for the kind people who served it.

Kindness is good for us and for the world. Just seeing compassion and kindness in action releases brain chemicals that generate calmness, a slower heart rate, and serotonin that offsets depression. Receiving or giving kindness also increases our sense of being connected with each other. We cultivate trust through acts of kindness that contribute to building meaningful relationships.

Here are some simple ways to show kindness: offer a helping hand; be there for a friend and quietly listen; send care packages to your grandkids away at college; smile at others; give genuine praise and compliments to people, the ones you know, and the strangers you meet along the way. Think of yourself as an Ambassador of Kindness and relish your “job” every chance you get!

Our mantra can be the simple wisdom of the French novelist, Marcel Proust: “Let us be grateful to people who make us happy; they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.”