In a world that often seems divided and fast-paced, a small act of kindness can go a long way in making someone smile or brightening up their day. World Kindness Day is observed on November 13th each year. It stands as a poignant reminder of the transformative power and impact of kindness. In an era dominated by technological advancements and societal complexities, the importance of embracing compassion and goodwill has never been more pronounced.
World Kindness Day serves as a collective call to prioritize empathy, understanding, and generosity. In today’s intricate world, choosing kindness is not just a virtue but a powerful way forward. This day encourages individuals to foster a culture of kindness, recognizing that small gestures can have a profound impact on building bridges, fostering unity, and creating a more compassionate global community. And the one person who imbibes these qualities to the core is Siddhesh Lokare.
Also Read: National Education Day Special: Know What Are Career Coach Lalith Dhanush’s Thoughts On Education Today
Don’t take life too seriously, take it “sidiously” 😉 We would like to call him the Chief Kindness Officer of the world. Sidiously a.k.a. Siddhesh Lokare’s social media content has warmed up our hearts and the lives of many with his unique ideas to spread kindness around. He definitely lives up to his Instagram bio “Manifesting vlogs from my ‘Out of the blue’ thoughts!” From creating a ‘relax station’ for delivery personnel to taking street kids to watch a 3D movie for the first time to singing songs and offering treats to women on their period, this man has won hearts and the internet.
Social media is used for a multitude of reasons today and to see you use it to spread kindness is so heartwarming. How did you come up with this idea?
I feel kindness is not an idea. It’s a skill. You can craft this skill by being a great listener of the stories of the needy. This all started with my urge to disintegrate my comfort zone with social experiments and it took me the art of conversing with random people. Furthermore, those conversations led me to believe that I can use this platform to give those stories a voice.
Since you have started using your digital presence to do social good, in what ways has your audience or community supported your initiatives?
Having built an online community for my previous startup, I always believed that community building is a key to unlock mad impact. Since day 1, I have been building communities and focus groups on Telegram, WhatsApp and Discord, which are tightly knit and passionate towards a purpose. They never fail to volunteer for social projects and in whatever way possible, they find resources to help me make things happen. Also, daily conversations with my Telegram community play a big role here.
Are there any specific projects or campaigns that you are currently working on or planning for the future?
I am working on multiple projects at the moment. The finest would be THE POONAM PROJECT where I am trying to kickstart conversations about HIV and AIDS through the story of Poonam. Also, I am on the verge of adopting an entire village, which will be a massive win for me.
When you revealed the mystery box to Aryan and his parents, their reaction was so wholesome. Anything they said or did behind the camera that you will always remember?
I did not record the moment of the first instalment I gave them for his schooling. His father had tears in his eyes and the mother couldn’t believe it. Though no money or resources can replace the very fact that I got to be a part of a super humble family. They are my extended family now.
How do you balance your content creation work with your social work activities, and what challenges have you encountered along the way?
A job is a job. I don’t think I am working hard enough to brag about the balance. Though, I have found peace in integrating these 2 realms into one. After leaving my full-time job, I don’t think there should be a reason for me to not be able to execute high-scale projects and also bring business via monetization. The biggest challenge is not extracting enough time for my favourite people or for myself.
What role do you believe social media and online platforms play in promoting a culture of kindness and compassion in the world?
Kindness is within us. It’s at your core. All you need to do is have an open mind, put yourself in other’s shoes and take action. Opinions don’t matter, actions do. Social media has given us a limitless stage for free speech. It starts with one simple act, which results in a trend, which gives rise to a culture, and then a lifelong revolution. And yes, never feel ashamed of documenting acts of kindness.
On this World Kindness Day, if there is one message you could spread across the globe, what would it be?
Be kind to yourself before being to others. And if gifting someone happiness makes YOU happy, be as selfish as you want.
Talking to Siddhesh makes us realise that every day can be World Kindness Day if you like. This day reminds us that amidst the complexities, the simplicity of kindness remains a beacon of hope. Choosing empathy over apathy, understanding over judgment, and extending a hand during hardships is not just a gesture; it’s a collective step toward creating a brighter and more harmonious world for all.