The world is a fast paced, quickly evolving place.
The sheer volume of people trying to make something of themselves, to leave an impact on the Earth, is both awe inspiring and chaotic. Truthfully, everyone has similar goals in the end. Though the means by which we get there differ from person to person, the majority of us just want the opportunities to love, be loved, seek success, and find a sense of belonging. And though it is wonderful to witness society striving higher with each passing generation, to recognize how much we’ve evolved and the advancements yet to come, there is beauty in the little things too.
People always tell us to look at the big picture. It’s important, of course, to not get bogged down by the inevitable setbacks and trivialities of everyday life. However, something that often doesn’t get emphasized enough is how necessary it actually is to step back at times and recognize that in the frenzy of constantly moving forward, we don’t often allow ourselves to take a look around.
I try not to believe that people are inherently selfish. On the contrary, I want to believe that most people have a great capacity to empathize and show concern for others, and that this capacity becomes diminished if effort is not continuously put in to cultivate this skill. For instance, people are generally not so heartless that when they hear that someone is experiencing a traumatic loss, they show little to no sympathy. The problem in the current culture, I’ve found, is that people need an explicit reason to be consciously kind.
It is incredibly important that we remind ourselves daily that every single person has a story that we are not always privy to. Sure, it’s easy to be agreeable to the people we choose to be around frequently and are good acquaintances with. What about the worker in the cafeteria, the cashier at the grocery store, the classmate we hardly know? What about the person that we don’t actually like very much because they perhaps hurt our feelings that one particular time? Even though the people we encounter as we make our way through life may never actually verbalize their struggles or deepest worries, the whole point of remembering to be kind is to understand that personal issues don’t need to be said to exist.
Yes, we want to secure a good job and a steady career.
Yes, we want to be strong, tough, and resilient to failure.
Yes, we want to be a proficient athlete or a respectable student.
And yet, I honestly and truly advocate for the notion that before all of these things, our priority should be to be a compassionate human being first.
Everybody has a story. You, me, and everyone else too. So this is a call for kindness, because though the world will continue to change, the one thing it can never have less of is that.