This I Believe: Kindness

Mark - Houston, Texas
Entered on March 1, 2009
Age Group: 18 - 30
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As a child, I was always taught to be assertive. Many adults vigorously told me to be firm and aggressive as I was growing up. They explained to me that it is a necessary attribute to survive the hardships in life. I was faced with a dilemma. How can I be forceful yet kind at the same time? I encountered this problem many times while growing up. I sometimes was scolded for being to sympathetic.

It’s hard to be kind. I was taught that kindness is for sissies; I learned that early. As many people state it, “Nice guys finish last.” Kindness is taken for weakness, rube-ishness, stupidity. No one seems to respect the kind. We were taught to value competitiveness, strength, cunning, and Darwin’s ideas of survival of the fittest. Still, I believe in kindness.

I get my kindness from my mother. She has always displayed her sympathy to others, but she has never told me to be kind, however. She never explained why it is helpful to be caring, why she does it. I believe she has no answer to it. I believe being kind has no explanation to it. The only reason to be kind is to help others in life, but it does not aid in the person giving the consideration. Being fully compassionate helps only the other person and does not benefit the contributor. Still, I believe in kindness.

It was a cold night. I was at my Uncle’s home for the holiday evening. On Christmas night, I was comfortably wrapped around my blanket sleeping quietly on the cozy bed. In the middle of the night, I woke up, needing to use the restroom. As I walked past where my brother was sleeping, I saw that he had no blanket. He was shivering rapidly. I decided to provide him my blanket even though I would be trembling through the cold night. However, I didn’t. Rather, I felt content by offering my warm blanket to him. Many people think that acts of kindness are for others, but I do it for myself. It not only gives me the satisfaction of aiding another person, but supports my position that there are still compassionate people in this world. I am typically humble. I do not state to many that I am a kind person. Yet, I believe that I need to publicize my acts of kindness to show others that there are still many compassionate people in the world; that this world has not plunged into hatred, for many believe that concept. In my life, I am surrounded by many individuals who do not know the meaning of being considerate and self-less. This, however, makes me a strong individual and forces me to face many confrontations in life. Still, I believe in kindness.