Nov. 13: World Kindness Day, National Indian Pudding Day, Diwali/Deepavali

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World Kindness Day

We never know when a kind word or polite gesture might be just what a person needs to feel appreciated or worthy. Sometimes all it takes is a smile to turn someone's day around. Today is "World Kindness Day" which reminds us all to take that extra step to be kind and considerate.

Here are some little things inspired by PBS Parents you might consider to help brighten someone's day:

* Leave something special on a neighbor's doorstep: flowers, cookies, or an invitation to share a meal.

* Spend an hour cleaning up a park or littered roadside.

* Make a contribution -- no matter how small -- to a worthy organization.

* Smile at everyone you encounter today.

National Indian Pudding Day

As Thanksgiving approaches, many of our thoughts turn to the Native Americans who occupied this land far before European settlers found their way to its shores. Their traditional ways of life and ability to live from the land was admired by the early settlers and in many cases, adopted.

One traditional dish that is still enjoyed today is Indian Pudding. Although there are many different flavor variations, the basic recipe generally includes cornmeal and molasses, and it is baked long and low rather than thickening on the stovetop.

Today is "National Indian Pudding Day," and I encourage everyone to bake this celebratory dish to remember and honor the native peoples who taught us to live in this wonderful land. Here is an adapted recipe from Yahoo! Shine.

Cinnamon Raisin Apple Indian Pudding

Diwali/Deepavali

There are more than a million Hindus living in the United States, and on Nov. 13 they will celebrate "Diwali or Deepavali," also known as the Festival of Lights. Diwali is celebrated to honor Rama-chandra, the seventh avatar and incarnation of the god Vishnu. It is believed that on this day, Rama returned to his people after conquering the demon king, Ravana. People lit their houses to celebrate his victory over evil.

The spiritual meaning of Diwali is the awareness of our inner light. You can celebrate by getting to know more about your Hindu neighbors and sharing in their appreciation of inner light. Maybe light your house and teach your children a little about the covenants of Hinduism. It's a great way to move towards inclusivity, acceptance and peace.

Famous Hindu converts you might recognize include George Harrison and Julia Roberts.

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