Before his best friend died of cancer 15 years ago, Penticton man Rylan Hernberg promised them he would be happy in life.
Hernberg now fulfills that promise by going out of his way to be kind to others. Being kind brings Hernberg joy like nothing else, he said.
Today (Nov. 13) is World Kindness Day, a movement Hernberg has been involved with for over ten years.
World Kindness Day is an annual international observance on Nov. 13.
It was introduced in 1998 by the World Kindness Movement, a coalition of kindness non-profit organizations and is observed in many countries including Canada.
The day serves to highlight good deeds in the community focusing on, “the positive power and the common thread of kindness which binds us.”
Every year Hernberg goes out of his way to spend Nov. 13 making the day brighter for others. However, Hernberg believes that he benefits the most from being kind to others.
“The act of giving, being of service, showing kindness has the ability to achieve powerful health benefits,” he said. “I realized being kind and doing nice things for other people makes me really happy.”
Hernberg carries a “kindness kit” in his car full of things like flowers, cards, coffee gift cards and more that he will hand to unsuspecting people this World Kindness Day. Every year he often steps in to buy coffee, food or groceries for a stranger.
Another act of kindness Hernberg enjoys is seeking out basketball courts where the hoops are missing the netting and attaching netting himself. “I have a bunch of basketball nets in my car and I just kind of quickly put them up,” he said.
“I like random acts of kindness where no one knows where it’s coming from.”
These small acts often make a world of difference not just to those Hernberg helps but also to Hernberg himself.
“What I noticed is if I’m having a bad day or I’m in a bad mood, the quickest way I learned to turn my mood around is by being kind,” he said.
For people looking to commit to a random act of kindness on World Kindness Day, Hernberg says there is many ways they can get started.
Simple gestures like letting someone go ahead of you in line, leaving a loonie in a shopping cart, buying someone’s coffee or even a simple smile could all make someone’s day, Hernberg said.
“I know for me personally World Kindness Day is circled on my calendar every year because it’s my favourite day of the year. It’s like my birthday and Christmas all wrapped into one day. It’s an opportunity to bring more kindness to Penticton and bring some joy to strangers.”
To learn more about World Kindness Day and how to be a kinder person in general, visit Hernberg’s website kindnessplace.com.