The world could always do with a little more kindness, which is what Random Acts of Kindness Day is all about. The whole week of February 14–20 is devoted to the idea of spreading a little kindess, and it doesn’t have to be big, either. Sometimes, the only thing needed is to help out a neighbor, donate a little something, give a loved one a gift, or just be kind to yourself!
In a month that is so often centered on romantic love, the idea of focusing on kindess for everyone is a wonderful balance. If you need a little extra inspiration, these characters are a fantastic choice, as they are some of the kindest in pop culture.
A shining beacon of kind light in the world, Mister Rogers is possibly the most famous real-life kind human in the world. The host of Mister Rogers' Neighborhood, Mister Rogers managed to challenge stereotypes and prejudice, teach children to believe in themselves, and preach kindness to everyone on his show, without ever being preachy. Since the legend’s passing in 2003, his life has inspired a host of books and films, from the documentary Won’t You Be My Neighbor to feature film A Beautiful Day In The Neighborhood, to board books for children teaching his core lessons of kindness and compassion.
Anne Shirley from Anne of Green Gables
Anne-wtih-an-E is definitely one of the kindest characters in literature—even if her good intentions don’t always lead to good results! Anne’s desire to do good things often leads to her getting carried away, and getting into trouble as a result. However, her loving spirit shines through ever her most ridiculous messes, and anyone can see that it’s the thought that counts in Green Gables.
John Coffey from The Green Mile
John is proof that a pure heart isn’t enough to save everyone in this heartbreaking (and award-winning) Stephen King novel turned blockbuster film. In it, John is an inmate on death row, who is discovered to not only be innocent, but to be sweet, kind, and possessing of magical healing powers. His story is a heartbreaking one, and although he knows that he will die, he is accepting of his fate, and continues to try and help even the men who are his jailers.
Fluttershy from My Little Pony
For those who are looking for something tooth-achingly sweet, My Little Pony is certainly a series to send fans to the dentist. The rebooted children’s show gained massive popularity, though, even among adults—proving that a lot of people want a little kindness and color in their lives. And while all the ponies are kind, it is Fluttershy who is defined by her kindess to others. This pink and yellow pony has a butterfly cutie mark, and lives in an adorable cottage caring for woodland creatures. She is the Disney princess of Equestria.
Beth from Little Women
Another epitome of kindness, Little Women’s Beth is defined by her sweetness to others. Her’s is a quiet kindess, especially compared to that of her rowdier sisters. She loved to play her piano, but also took care of kittens and knitted and sewed for others. And unlike her sisters with their big dreams, Beth simply wanted to stay with her family and care for others. In a way, she is just too good—but like Jo, readers can take inspiration to be more considerate from dear Beth.
Ned Flanders from The Simpsons
It’s hard to imaging anyone being able to deal with the shenanigans of a neighbour like Homer Simpson, let alone do it with a smile, but that’s what Ned Flanders does! With his cheery (and later revealed to be slightly dark) "hi diddly ho!," Ned is always kind—lending tools, babysitting, or just being a good guy to have around.
Amelie from Amelie
Last but not least, Amelie could be the poster kind for Random Acts of Kindness Day! The star of the film Amelie, this Parisian waitress is quiet and shy, but driven by the desire to help out the people around her. And most of the time, she does it without them even knowing. And charmingly, it’s this new mission of kindness that leads her to her own happiness. A perfect lesson for all of us!
Who are your favorite kind characters? Tweet @quirkbooks and let us know!