Opinion: In a world where you can be anything, be kind

“Words can build us up, words can break us down,” Hawk Nelson said, in his song “Words”.I think we all have had an experience when someone has said something that either made us feel on top of the world, or feel down and dim.For me, when someone I really respect or care about says something about me, it means a whole lot. And, even when it is someone I do not know, I still do not want them to say hurtful things about me.I have a professor that I greatly respect and adore. I feel really good and get excited when he says amazing things about me. Before, he’s told me that he is proud of my leadership or proud of how I’ve grown as an individual. I really value that. I take those things to heart, and cherish them.I have also had times when someone has said that they were disappointed in me or that I was being selfish or unfair. I’ve been told that I was mean or snotty. Those words really hurt my spirit. That is hard to hear, and it hurts some more than others.We have been given so much power and freedom in this world. Power we can use for good, or for evil. Our words can cut, slither, and slice right through people’s hearts if we are not careful. No one likes to be hurt like that, yet we do it to others all the time, and sometimes we are unaware that we are even doing it.Well, it is time to become aware. Now is the time to start being mindful and intentional with how we are treating our brothers and sisters of Christ. Nov. 13th marks the day of World Kindness, which is an internationally celebrated holiday to recognize and shine light to the good in the world.There is evil in the world; that is inevitable. Ever since sin entered the world, we are bound by flesh to endure a corrupt existence on the earth. But Jesus, the ultimate example of perfect kindness, offers us refuge and hope from the destruction of the world. I know there are different faiths and beliefs at Malone and that is good because through diversity we can ask questions and grow. We are called to love all equally. No matter your background, your skin color, or where you may have come from, you deserve to be loved and treated with kindness and fairness. Scripture says it best in Ephesians expert in laundering rugs, but I gave her my advice. She was so grateful that I stopped to help her. I left that situation feeling full, knowing even a little action can do a whole lot of good.College students, myself included, are known to complain regularly about being tired all the time and stressed out like crazy. If you could make someone feel good and make yourself feel good at the same time, why wouldn’t you? By the way, the story I just shared – that took two minutes out of my day.I like to believe in the best in people. I think we are all capable of amazing kindness. Anyone is capable of a smile, a greeting, a wave, even a quick text or tweet. Kindness is easy. You will never regret being kind.I get it, college is hard and sometimes all you want is to be left alone. You’re allowed to be angry, and that is okay. But, you should never be cruel.I don’t mean this to be read as a sermon or imply that I am a perfectly kind person all the time; I am not. But, I do want to emphasize the impact one person’s kindness can have on a whole community and beyond. Maybe next time you’re going to dinner alone, you could ask your suitemate or the guy/girl down the hall if they want to go along. Or maybe when you are getting ready to get that weekly SFO credit, you ask someone to go with you. Or when you are doing your laundry, help the freshmen who isn’t quite sure what they are doing. That can make a whole lot of difference. We’re not alone in this, we can all work together to make this world a better place.In honor of World Kindness Day, here’s a quote from my favorite book: “Always be a little kinder than is necessary,” (Palacio, 2012). The New York Times bestseller by R.J. Palacio is coming to theaters Nov. 17th in a movie called “Wonder”. This book is the best representation of how a little bit of kindness can change a whole school community, and someday the world.

 

LXIII Issue No. 6

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