A Time To Be Kind Again
By: Colton Haisch
We live in a nation that is full of fear and hatred of people for no more than just their political views. There is real fear of everyday life, this is true. But we are a nation that should never let fear take over our humanity.
I try my best to smile at the majority of the people I see each day and when I get a smile back it makes me feel good. It is always good to know someone else in that moment was happy too. I do this because my father taught me this. It is a sign of kindness and respect.
Being kind has so many benefits that we’ve all heard; reduced stress, better heart health, you could live longer, makes you happier, blah blah blah. I’m not here to talk about health because the health benefits should just be a bonus. You shouldn’t just be kind for your own health that defeats the purpose.
There are countless ways to be a kind person, and just doing one of these things is a good start, but you have to keep trying to be a kind person. You have to practice just like anything else you have to become good at.
1. Smile at everyone
This one might confuse people but when you smile at every one it’s like passing the kindness around. You could start a chain reaction, or even better you could make someone’s day. You never know when someone will just need a smile. As my grandfather has said to me “Treat others as though the other person heart is about to break”.
2. Smile back
Pay it forward! If someone smiles at you or says “Hello”, smile and say it back. Even if you aren’t in a great mood go ahead and nod. You aren’t going to be trapped into a conversation I promise you. It’s just a friendly “hello” and smile.
3. Don’t think, just do
This is really hard. I struggle with this all the time. You can’t just think “It would be a kind thing if I…” No, you have to just go do it. I know there is a risk of embarrassment or failure but it’s better than the thought of, “Dang I could have made someone’s day right there.” Just do it and if it works out it won’t only make their day but yours too.
4. Ask to help anyone who looks like they could use it
There was this older woman behind me at Safeway the other day. Her cart was packed! She was by herself, and I had all the faith in the world she could do it by herself, but me, being the very capable young man sitting there with only a box of candy, can take the 5 minutes out of his day to help this woman. So I asked her if I could help her. She was almost emotional about my offer to her. Her husband had just got out of the hospital and she was so happy with that fact she went and bought all his favorite things for him. It was truly a sweet moment to be a part of. It made my day thinking of her at home telling her husband about some young man helping her out with the 5 gallons of his favorite Dreyer’s Ice Cream.
5. Know what you are good at, then give back
If you are good at teaching, teach a fellow student for a test for no charge. If you can coach, coach little league and share that connection of the sport you love so much. If you can do anything, you can find a way to give back to the world that has given you so much. No skill is too small to give back.
6. Give compliments
Don’t think, just do. This is true with this if it’s a real compliment that just comes to you. “I like your outfit” perfect thing to say, gives them the happiness of knowing someone noticed they tried and also it isn’t weird. Follow up with maybe a reason why for example “I like your outfit because I especially like the Captain America shirt you are wearing”. “I think you’re hot” that is not going to really make the person feel that good, maybe a little uncomfortable. Compliments come and go. Learn to weed out the good and bad ones, real or fake.
7. “Walk a mile…” you know the rest
This is still true. This saying didn’t just go away because we don’t want to anymore. Walk a mile in someone else’s shoes, do this before you judge someone. You never know how messed up their lives are. No one will ever truly know someone by just looking at someone. Trust me, just get to know someone first. You might just make a new friend.
8. The Golden Rule
“Do unto others as you would have them do unto you” (Matt. 7:12). You don’t have to be religious to follow this rule. Don’t be an ass if you don’t want the next person you meet to be an ass. Plain and simple.
9. Let the people you love know
Saying “I love you” is so… good. Don’t think of it as commitment, or fear of rejection. Love is a feeling and it’s a kind feeling that can you and others happy. I have a best friend that every once in a while, will nail this. I’ll be having a bad day, check my phone and boom there it is. “I love you”. Say it to your parents, wife, husband, brother, sister, best friends, anyone you feel it towards. Love can be between any number of people; you just need to make that connection.
10. Be kind to yourself
How can you possibly be kind to others if you go home and be mean to yourself? Take the steps to work on your self love. Let yourself off with a mistake. Let yourself indulge in something you love without any judgment. Meditate to figure out what you need first. If you can’t have the confidence in yourself, you won’t have the guts to put yourself out there to be kind to others.
“United we stand, divided we fall”. This was a phrase first used in 1792, yet I want to use the Marvels Civil War phrase here. We are all friends. We can’t let political agenda tear us apart. We are still The United States of America. Kindness can unite us again.
Thank you for reading. I hope this has helped you want to spread the kindness. I’m still working on it every day myself. So, if you have any more ways of being kind that you’d like to add please comment! Or if you have feedback for me since this is my first posting. Feel free to follow me if you enjoyed!
God Bless America.