Estimated read time: 3-4 minutes
SALT LAKE CITY — You may have already encountered billboards, TV commercials and social media posts encouraging kindness or doing one act of kindness every day.
These messages are part of a new initiative — One Kind Act a Day — established by the Semnani Family Foundation to encourage everyone in Utah and across the globe to deliver one act of kindness every day.
"There is nothing we can do that will change the course of history, unless we individually decide to change the course of history," Utah Gov. Spencer Cox said. "And the way we do that, I'm convinced, is by being kind."
Cox joined prominent local leaders and Khosrow Semnani on Tuesday at the Gallivan Center to kick off the initiative and officially declare April 12 as "One Kind Act a Day" day in Utah.
"Utah is the perfect epicenter for the beginning of this worldwide expansion of humanity through one act of kindness a day," Salt Lake City Mayor Erin Mendenhall said. "You could buy dinner for the family at the table next to you, or coffee for the person in line behind you. ... But you could also just smile at someone."
Developed from an idea by Semnani, the celebration of kindness in downtown Salt Lake City on Tuesday served as the launch for what will be a global campaign.
"There is nothing more important than kindness and love and care today because of all the problems that are in the world today," Semnani said. "If just one person can do one intentional kind thing for someone else each day, that can lead to another act of kindness and another and another. Kindness can be contagious."
Before declaring March 12 as "One Kind Act a Day" day, Cox acknowledged that not everyone will look fondly on this initiative.
"We will get mocked for this," Cox said. "We will get made fun of on social media for this."
Speaking to what he described as "cynical" viewpoints that believe the initiative won't make a difference, Cox didn't mince words.
"I'm here to tell you that those people are wrong, that they are fundamentally, absolutely and completely wrong. I have been the recipient of acts of kindness over the past week and I'm so grateful for those acts of kindness."
While he didn't elaborate, the governor could have been referring to the support he's received following recent criticism from Fox News host Tucker Carlson.
"My friend, the governor, was recently attacked for being a compassionate and kind human being and characterized as a turncoat," Mendenhall said.
To spread the message of kindness, the Semnani Family Foundation launched ThePowerOfKind.org, a hub for all things kindness, filled with ideas for acts of kindness, news about the One Kind Act a Day campaign and other inspirational content. Billboards, social media campaigns and a video featuring a collection of Utahns sharing what kindness means to them have also been created.
To take the Kindness Pledge, visit thepowerofkind.org.