Today: November 13th is…..

While scrolling around yesterday on social media, I notice more than I mentioned yesterday in my recent blog post.  I noticed that today’s date had many designations assigned to it. I’ve listed them below. What will you celebrate, if any of them?

National GIS Day 2019

Geographic Information Systems (GIS). Many events are being held around the world today, celebrating how this digital coordinate system has enhanced our lives.

GIS Matters – The Science of Where (short video link)

All about National GIS Day

GIS Geography


World Kindness Day

This caught my eye due to my growing up watching Mr. Rogers Neighborhood. Wearing a cardigan today was a suggested way to celebrate World Kindness Day. We all remember Mr. Rogers, the epitome of kindness, putting on his cardigan at the beginning of his PBS show. Are you wearing a cardigan today? I am!

What struck me is that most of you probably knew about wearing a cardigan and World Kindness Day as opposed to what I would imagine few knowing about GIS day.  It seemed odd to me that we have to have a day to be reminded to be kind to one another. Kindness, and treating others as we ourselves want to be treated, should be second nature to us as humans. And, yet, sadly, it is not.

We need this reminder of kindness because so very often we are not kind. We jab, and criticize, and undermine. We snarl like a dog showing their fangs and do so over the smallest of infractions.  I know I’m guilty. Most everyone I know is guilty of not being kind at some point or another, and more recently than in the past, as well.

Kindness. Who comes to mind when you think of the word? I can think of a few people that being a kind person describes. I wish it described more than it does. Certainly, there are some, such as Fred Rogers, who are held up as role models for us all to aspire to follow. They set the bar high for they are kind to everyone – absolutely, everyone!

How else would you describe kindness? What are some synonyms you could use? I came up with sweet, pleasant, altruistic, compassionate, thoughtful, magnanimous, hospitable, and benevolent.

What could you do to be more kind? Personally, I am trying to be more patient with others, even if it means to respond slower with a more measured, thoughtful reply.  I see that it makes a difference in how others relate to me. Our world can be a harsh place but I am making a choice to see it as a good place, a kind place, and one that makes a difference for me as well as for others.

So, of the two things we are could celebrate today – GIS and Kindness – we really need to work on the one that is more obvious and should be second nature for humans. Our positions change as we move about and that is reflected in GIS coordinates but as we move around in the world, kindness should always come with us and not have to be sought or found.

Practice kindness today. Your tomorrow will thank you.


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