By Angelica Cullen, Feature Editor Originally published in Issue 6, Volume 33 of The University Register on November 20, 2020
When I was a senior in high school, my College Composition II teacher gave an assignment that required students to write an article about something that was important to them to be published in the local newspaper. I was recently going through some of my old high school work and found this article among analysis papers for “Inception” and essay responses to a Malcolm Gladwell book. In the (almost) three years since this was written, my worldview has changed considerably. While my writing skills have certainly improved since the publication of this article, the overall message holds true to this day.
“Kindness is one of the most undervalued characteristics today and I believe that it is the most important. Goodness and positivity cannot come from hatred, it must come from kindness and peace. No one is born full of hate; it is something that is learned over time from other people. The cycle of hatred can be broken with a simple act of kindness towards another person.
Many people don’t realize the impact that their empathy can have on a person’s life. When one person is kind to another, that person is more likely to want to do something kind for another person and it becomes a chain of compassion. One of the earliest concepts that many kids are taught is the golden rule; treat others how you would want to be treated. Yet, there are several teenagers and adults that do not follow this rule and choose to have hatred in their hearts instead of being kind.
There are a lot of different ways that you can show kindness to someone, like saying hello to them or being there for them in a time of need. Something as simple as sitting next to someone who is alone or asking them about their day could affect them in a huge way. Other things you can do to be kind to someone include helping them pick up something that they have dropped, spending some time with them and talking to them if they seem lonely, offering to do something for them, and standing up for them if someone is being rude to them. An act of kindness doesn’t have to be something expensive or time-consuming, it just has to be something meaningful that helps someone in any way.
All of the role models that I look up to are people who are courageous, determined, and most importantly, kind. These people have inspired me in various ways to be a better person through their selflessness. There is one other thing that all of these people have in common: happiness within their jobs and their lives. Being selfless and kind to others can make you a happier person overall.
Kindness is a human trait that should have more importance in today’s society and the way to achieve that is through simple acts of compassion. I believe that if everyone took the time to be a little kinder, the world would be a much more positive place.”
Image on top courtesy of National Able Network