This I Believe

Sarah - Beaverton, Oregon
Entered on November 13, 2008
Age Group: Under 18
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I believe in kindness. More specifically, I believe in being kind to everyone you come across, despite what kind of day you may be having. I never used to consider this thought – until my dad and I started talking about it casually one night. It was one of the many insights my dad and I discuss, and I agree with it completely.

During our conversation, we talked about how it doesn’t make sense to take your problems out on other people, considering they don’t know what you’re going through. If I am having a bad day, I try to forget about all my problems when I talk to people instead of getting them involved. After all, they could be going through a hard time as well, so it obviously doesn’t help their situation if I’m rude to them, right?

I believe that the smallest gesture towards anyone, stranger or not, can make a huge difference in their mood, as well as mine. I believe in acknowledging every person with kindness because even if I am never going to see them again, I could leave a lasting impression on their day.

Even if I feel like there’s no hope left in humanity, or I feel as if I’m the lowest of the low, a smile or a simple “hello” from someone can help alleviate my problems. If talking to a friend or even a stranger helps release stress, it may be considered simply a distraction from my problems, but the one distraction that can save me from dwelling on life’s negative moments.

I believe optimism from others can “distract” anyone from their personal struggles. Distractions may be temporary, but depending on the conversation or situation between you and someone else, that distraction could be the one thing that changes that person’s views on something, or their mood completely.

Spontaneous kindness from strangers is enough to put me in a great mood. If I’m upset, some other person’s bravery to talk to me, a stranger to them, can alter my thoughts and mood for the better. That’s why I believe in kindness, because it can change the direction of my thoughts all together.