ASME Celebrates World Kindness Day

Dr Riya Elizabeth George

World Kindness Day is an international observance celebrated every year on November 13th. Since its creation more than two decades ago, the day has achieved truly global notice, with trends such as ‘random acts of kindness’ becoming increasingly popular. We often have very little time to think about how we can be kind to others and even less time to consider how we can show kindness to ourselves.

This year, ASME has created a bespoke communication piece to support you in thinking about how to show kindness to yourself.

riya elizabeth george
Megan Brown, ASME Director from the Membership

Megan Brown

To begin with, Megan Brown, ASME’s Director from the Membership has curated a collection of poetry on the topic of being kind to oneself. Each poem is prefaced with a short introduction about the poem and its author, and one or two reflective prompts to help you think about on your own relationship to kindness. Next, the Co-Chairs of ASME’s Mindfulness in Medical Education (MiME) Special Interest Group, Vidarshi Karunaratne and Michael Atkinson share their valuable perspectives on being kind to oneself, particularly in relation to healthcare professionals.

They also provide an introduction into the concepts of loving-kindness and self-compassion and present a variety of meaningful self-care reflective practices that can be used in your daily life. With a hot cup of tea or your chosen favourite beverage by your side, we encourage you to pause, find a relaxing space, and enjoy the read.

Vidarshi Karunaratne

Healthcare professionals are arguably the contemporary real heroes who devote their time, their lives, and their health to help those most in need. However, the hero narrative and rhetoric that has often surrounded healthcare professionals can have unintended consequences – one being, forgetting that healthcare professionals are still humans, with vulnerabilities, fears and weaknesses of their own.

Vidarshi’s piece begins to touch upon the complexity and weight of self-sacrificing and the visible (and invisible) burden often carried by those in caring professions.

Michael Atkinson

Michael Atkinson

Following on from Vidarshi’s piece, Michael Atkinson begins to unpack the meaning of loving kindness and the benefits it brings to both ourselves and others. Check out the art piece collages below for a range of self-reflective kindness practices you can try out each day and share with us on @asmeofficial the change they have made to your own life. You can also read his piece on Loving Kindness.

Image for kindness practices One
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Image for kindess practices Two
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To continue the thought train on self-compassion and encourage more meaningful conversations on the importance of self-care and self-kindness, the TASME TiME podcast discusses this further. Clementine Wkye, a psychiatry trainee and Anna Melvin, a post-doctoral research fellow at the University of Exeter share their personal stories and insights into the struggles students and trainees experience in caring for themselves and keeping their wellbeing at the top (rather than the usual bottom place) of their priority list.

Radhika Thakrar, a paediatric trainee and ASME’s newly appointed Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) social media intern shares a snapshot into her realisations on the importance of self-kindness and the mental health struggles she experienced as a medical student, which still, now and then creep up on her.

As Scott Adams once said, “there is no such thing as a small act of kindness, every act creates a ripple, with no logical end.”  Small acts of kindness especially to ourselves have a huge potential to change the way we feel, think and act. Kindness is always fashionable and always welcome. We hope the stories and reflections in this piece have helped you consider or perhaps remember the importance of self-kindness. Join ASME in celebrating World Kindness Day. 

As part of ASME’s Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion strategy we actively aim to start and continue meaningful conversations about diversity issues in medicine and healthcare. Throughout the year we will be exploring how we can celebrate and support individuals from culturally diverse, under-represented and marginalised backgrounds. If you would like to find out more information about ASME’s Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion strategy, please contact us at