The Power of Kindness
I vividly remember my first day of first grade. All the other children chattered excitedly to friends they had made in kindergarten. Everyone but me; I was a new kid. Because I was extremely shy, I was too nervous to introduce myself to the other kids playing tag at recess. So I spent my first recess swinging on the monkey bars alone. At lunchtime, I scanned the cafeteria as I dreaded having to find a place to sit. As I was walking across the cafeteria, a girl called out to me. She had recognized me as being the new girl in her class and said I could sit with her and her friends. I was relieved I no longer had to pace the cafeteria feeling stupid. Although I did not become lifelong friends with this girl, it was definitely a simple gesture that helped me adapt to a new school easier. It is because of this that I believe in the power of kindness.
I believe a small gratitude of kindness can go a long way. I believe in holding the door for someone, even if they are not carrying a heavy load. I believe in letting a car out in front of me, even if the traffic is heavy. I also believe a simple smile or “hello” to a stranger is a guaranteed antidote to a bad mood. Not only does a small act of kindness make someone else feel good, but the feeling is contagious and makes me feel happier as well. Why is it people pretend not to notice when someone drops a book and papers spill out everywhere? Perhaps we are just caught up in the hustle of our lives, but I believe in taking ten seconds to help them gather their papers. I am a strong believer in the quote, “What if we were as quick to compliment as we were to criticize?”. I believe it is obvious the world would be a much better place. I also feel that if we are nicer to others, they are more likely to return the favor. It might seem simple and obvious to make a phone call to a friend to wish them ‘Happy Birthday’ or to tell them you hope they feel better. Although it is effortless, I believe it is a sure way to let a friend know you are thinking of them. By aiming to one genuinely kind thing a day, I believe the world can be a better place. This I believe.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.