This I Believe

Brittany - Cincinnati, Ohio
Entered on November 2, 2006
Age Group: Under 18

Kindness is a Virtue

Kindness is a respectable quality that should be held on high and cherished by all. I try my best to be kind to everyone I meet, though I am sometimes led astray by the unkindness in peoples attitudes and hearts. I hope to rise above the ways of the unkind, for I believe a little bit of kindness can go a very long way. Even something as small as smiling at a fellow student in the halls of your school is a token of your kindness and more often than not, that person can’t help but smile back.

In my freshman year of high school, I met a girl who had a reputatuion of being the “tough girl” and she was not a very kind person. Before she had even learned my name, she had declared her hatred of me and began to insult me. The smart alec side of me was dueling the side of composure and was winning. I had wanted to insult her right back, and then it clicked, what adults had been telling me for years: “Don’t stoop to their level”. I had always thought that to be a tired bit of advice. What better way to get back at someone than to do it right back? But I looked at the girl in front of me, face painted with sourness and spite, and realized that if I was to insult her, I’d become just like her, something I certainly did not want to do. Instead, I smiled and asked her name. She refused to tell me, so I told her it was nice to meet her despite her rudeness, and walked away. I knew that I had won, for she had wanted to upset me and apparently failed. Sometimes the best form of revenge is kindness.

I believe that everyone should try to be happy and pleasant. Even when times are rough, being optimistic and remembering that things must get better sooner or later always helps, even if only a little. If you’re a nice, friendly person, people will be attracted to your personality and come to you with the expectations of being treated with kindness. You’d most certainly have more friends and you can walk the gossip-infested halls of school or work (or anywhere, for that matter) with confidence that if people are talking about you, they’re most likely talking about how sweet you are, or how you’ve maybe helped them in some way or another.

If everyone was nice, I’m sure we could all in fact be friends. There are those who bluntly refuse kindness, for reasons unbeknownst to most. However, with persistence, even they may sway to kindness. All in all, kindness is key to being a bigger person in the best possible way and I believe that we all have precisely what it takes to be good people inside and out.