'Tis the Season for Choosing Kindness

After my class on Friday in the College of Arts and Sciences, I visited the basement bathroom. I walked into a random stall and closed the door. I was surprised to see many writings and drawings on the door. No, they weren’t words shaming others or calling people out for things they’ve done.

Instead, the door was a mural of encouraging quotes and supportive words. There were stories of hope and empowering drawings. Most of the time, it’s generally expected that people are very mean when they’re anonymous. For example, comments on articles about politics can get brutal. However, it’s important to remember, especially during a time when we should be reflecting on the good things in life, that people can be very kind. If people were as nice and encouraging as they were on the back of that bathroom stall door, this world would be a much kinder place.

As we approach Thanksgiving, remember that no act of kindness goes unnoticed. Here are three ways in which you can pay it forward this season.


1. Pay for someone's coffee in the drive-thru line

This is my favorite thing to do around the holidays. Once, on my way to high school, someone paid for my coffee at Starbucks. It made my week! I’m not kidding. I paid for the order of the person behind me, and I hope they continued the trend. It’s just a really nice thing to do, and it’s so unexpected.


2. Take care of someone

Help the girl at a party who is too drunk to find her friends or get home safely (of course, you should always do this). Or, if one of your friends is ill or has a broken bone, bring them their favorite candy or at least some fluids to keep them hydrated. It can be a really small act, but it makes a world of difference to the person you’re helping.


3. Share your notes

Offer to share your notes with someone else in your class. They'll probably appreciate it and share theirs with you. It's a nice thing to do, and you can make a new study partner, or maybe even a new friend.


If you can’t do any of the above, then try to smile at three people each day. A friendly smile can lift someone’s spirits. This holiday season, choose to be kind. Everybody is going through something, and it takes nothing away from you to smile or share notes or be kind.


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