Kindness is in our power, even when fondness is not

Sophomore Emily Day reflects on how kindness should be used, no matter the situation.

Sophomore Emily Day reflects on how kindness should be used, no matter the situation.

Emily Day, Writer

Kindness is more than periodic generosity. To me, true kindness is giving without expecting anything in return. It means helping when help is needed and helping when you can, even if there is nothing in it for you. While it is ideal to return kindness to others, it should not be expected.

In elementary, we all learned and memorized the golden rule: treat others the way we want to be treated. There were posters in the hallways, it was written on every teacher’s board, and we had to repeat it often. Sure, I have always loved the idea of the golden rule, and I think I always will – but it is not clear that we should treat others well, even if they are not willing to show us that same respect. We should never expect payment for our good deeds or kind actions.

Everyone I know struggles with having or maintaining good self-esteem. We live in a world where this is normal, for many different reasons. But have you ever sat back and thought about how different you would view yourself if people were not so mean so often? We should love, despite the poor choices that others make because love brings meaning to life. When someone does something that shows their genuine care for you, it makes you feel more valuable.

Like any other human, I struggle with being kind sometimes. As a kid, I was told that even if I didn’t like someone, I should love them. I thought that “loving” the people I didn’t like simply meant avoiding conflict with them. I now know that this was not love. Truly loving others requires a sense of respect that not everyone puts into action very often.

Everyone wants to be loved. We long for people to treat us well. This includes family, best friends, strangers, and even that kid in the back of class that always asks for answers to last night’s homework, even though we never talk otherwise. We all want people to accept us and to respect us. So, treat others the way you want to be treated.