South Bay answers 'What is one kind thing you've done today?' on World Kindness Day

SAN JOSE, Calif. (KGO) -- In any effort to build a Better Bay Area, one cannot overlook the simple act of being kind to one another.

In the South Bay and around the globe, many celebrated World Kindness Day on Wednesday.

RELATED: Simple acts of kindness you can do to celebrate World Kindness Day

ABC7 News set out with a whiteboard and one question: "What is one kind thing you've done today?"

The crew set up at Plaza de César Chávez in Downtown San Jose, searching for people who had answers.

"I work in a very tall office building," resident Natalie Fakhreddine told ABC7 News. "So, I held the elevator door, saying good morning to everyone who came in."

Philip Ancheta explained, "I kind of take it as a point to buy coffee in the morning for one of my co-workers that I see, just because we all have hard days."

Santa Cruz resident Esabella Bonner said she shares smiles with people who look like they're going through a tough time

"For me, I recently lost my dad within the past year," she explained. "And so, I feel like whenever I extend that smile to other people, it really makes me feel it within myself."

Whatever the inspiration, it's clear many have made it their mission to spread kindness.

We asked people how they'd define the word "kindness."

"Something that brings a smile to someone's face," Brenna Low shared. "Whether you're bringing joy to someone, or if you're helping them out- just making them happy in a certain way."

Monterey resident Karen Lahmen said, "The kinder we are with ourselves, with our families and with our cities, the kinder world it'll be and there will be less conflict."

"It's all about kindness in our hearts, every day, every moment," she added.

Phu Nguyen explained, "The charm, the love."

In some cases, it's also the thing people need to be reminded about.

An ABC7 News producer was recently in a local bakery and ran across a sign, asking for customers to be kind to employees.

"Fundamentally, our baseline should always be nice, period," Dr. James Doty said. "And you shouldn't have to ask this at all."

Dr. James Doty is a professor of Neurosurgery at Stanford University, and the founder and director of the Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education at Stanford.

The ABC7 News producer returned a few weeks later and found the sign had to be removed. Why? The manager told us it had caused too many complaints.

So here is today's reminder: be kind. You have it in you.

"Kindness- caring for another person is what defines us as a species actually," Dr. Doty said. "That is our default mode."

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