Scan the headlines and you'll see news of war, beheadings, epidemics and threats to countries big and small. It's enough to make anyone lock themselves in their home and refuse to come out. The world can feel like a scary, overwhelming and cold place.

That's why World Kindness Day on November 13 might be more necessary than ever.

That's the day when people are urged to perform an act of kindness — large or small — to bring hope, helpfulness, and joy into the world. The goal is to try and improve the lives of those around you. In the bigger picture, it is to make the world a better, more peaceful place as people work to foster commonality and establish common ground with people from other cultures, races, and backgrounds.

According to Wikipedia, the World Kindness Movement began in 1997 in Japan. On its website, The World Kindness Movement describes its purpose:

"The mission of the WKM is to inspire individuals towards greater kindness and to connect nations to create a kinder world."

Wouldn't that be nice? Each of us in our family, neighborhood, city, and state can begin to make this a reality by doing something kind and memorable for someone else. In the true spirit of paying it forward, our kind deed might inspire others to do the same and create a domino effect of good vibes.

One of the great things about performing an act of kindness for another is that it crosses boundaries of background and language. We can all speak the language of kindness and share the positive, affirming feelings associated with doing something nice for a fellow human being.

This is also a great opportunity to have a conversation with your children about the value and need to be other-centered. For instance, you can ask your child to think of a person in need or someone they care about, and consider an act of kindness designed for them to brighten their day. Hopefully your act will lead to others doing similar acts for someone else.

You can encourage your child to discuss World Kindness Day with their teacher and fellow students in an attempt to motivate them to take part. Share your interest in World Kindness Day on social media, to inspire others to participate. You might also find that your family members and close friends know of people in desperate need of a little kindness.

Explain to your child that the act of kindness does not need to cost anything or be a tremendous time investment. It can be as simple as listening to a elderly neighbor whose family members live in another state or making a little extra food for a church member who is having trouble making ends meet.

Make sure to remind your child that while November 13 may be set aside to perform kind deeds for others, it is important to carry that mindset throughout the year. Being kind to others is a muscle that we all need to train in order to set an example for others to follow.

There are other organizations with similar philosophies. The Random Acts of Kindness Foundation offers kindness ideas ranging from the free to the expensive and ideas of acts to perform for people, pets and the environment.