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World Kindness Day: Why the Big Gesture is Never Enough

Graphic By: Leah Lurie

World Kindness Day shouldn’t be about the big gesture; kindness doesn’t inherently equate to solving everybody’s problems and as one cartoon horse would say, kindness is about being dependably good- which is why it’s so hard to be kind.

This concept often reminds me of a rather horrific public falling out that happened a few years ago between Sharon Needles (Aaron Coady), known for winning season four of RuPaul’s Drag Race, and Annecy, a teenage fan. While there’s discourse surrounding the exact nature of their friendship, Aaron befriended Annecy online and the two eventually met in person on a cruise. From then on, Aaron acted as a mentor to Annecy. However, this changed in 2021 when Annecy alleged that Aaron engaged in toxic behavior towards them.

As a mentor, Aaron seemed to provide Annecy with many opportunities to grow their artistry, most notably the chance to perform in a play with the legendary Peaches Christ. But it was never enough, not because Annecy was ungrateful, but because Aaron was never consistent in his kindness.

A singular gesture doesn’t heal all wounds, which is why I think World Kindness Day is about being reliable. World Kindness Day should be about celebrating acts like holding doors open for strangers and saying “bless you” when someone sneezes throughout the year. The point is that we shouldn’t be kind only on World Kindness Day. We need to be kind all the time.

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This is even the basis of the creation of World Kindness Day, it wasn’t founded at the behest of one individual. According to, World Kindness Day was founded in 2012 after thousands of individuals from the New South Wales (NSW) chapter of Federation Parents and Citizens Association wrote to the NSW Department of Education. World Kindness Day has always existed as a culmination of many, many small gestures, never one big one.

I think the simple truth of World Kindness Day is especially hard to fathom because we live in America, where the next ‘big thing’ is quite literally the next big thing. This feeling of helplessness is especially exemplified when big business begins to meddle with World Kindness Day.

It’s easy to see companies like Krispy Kreme offering free boxes of doughnuts to the masses and feel defeated. What we often forget, though, is that Krispy Kreme isn’t offering free donuts out of the kindness of their hearts. Krispy Kreme entices us with the promise of free doughnuts so that even if they run out, you are still likely to buy a doughnut for your troubles.

So, if the effectiveness of World Kindness Day relies on the individual, how can we be reliably kind? For one, we need to be kind to ourselves.

Maybe I’m beating a dead horse, but it’s still a point worth making. Being college students, we often struggle to take care of ourselves because we tend to prioritize academics. We can’t succeed, let alone make time to be kind to others, if we can’t be kind to ourselves. Take time to smell the roses. It won’t be long until you graduate, even if it seems far away now.

To make the most of your World Kindness Day, I challenge you to be more involved in the community. Begin volunteering, and volunteer consistently. You might just end up liking it.


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