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Practicing Kindness

If there’s one thing we could all use a little more of, it’s kindness. University is hard, and not to mention incredibly busy! What would happen if we all took just a few moments out of our day to extend kindness and love to another person, whether they were a stranger or a friend? So, with exams coming up fast, here are a few little ways to show some kindness to your fellow human beings and maybe make their hectic lives a little brighter and easier.

1. Leave a Thoughtful Note

It doesn’t have to be much: just a small thank you note to someone who might be struggling or someone who could use some encouragement. It means the world to people to know that they are loved and appreciated, and that someone else cares about their well-being. Whether it comes in the form of a text, email, letter, or sticky note on their door, this tiny act of kindness could really help brighten someone’s day.

2. Make a “Thank Call”

When I was in grade ten, I listened to a motivational speaker (right here at Queen’s, actually!) who told us about “thank calls.” The opposite of a prank call, a thank call is when you scroll blindly through the contacts in your phone and pick one out at random, then surprise them with a call thanking them for all they’ve done in your life and elsewhere. The motivational speaker did one in front of all of us, and the woman on the other end nearly cried. She had been having a rough time, and that call meant so much to her. Just be sure not to call people while they’re in class!

3. Leave a Small Gift

I know money is tight in university, but giving someone a small gift to show them how much they mean to you doesn’t have to break the bank. It could be something as simple as buying them a coffee, using a TAM on them, or making them a piece of art. To give is such a wonderful feeling, and there’s nothing better than seeing the change something so little can make in someone’s day.

4. Pay a Compliment

It’s amazing how easy it can be to pay someone a sincere compliment when you really pay attention; everybody has their own virtues which make them unique, as well as things that they’re particularly proud of. I’ve seen people nearly break down in tears when they were paid a sincere, almost off-hand compliment; that sort of thing can really stick with a person.

5. Offer a Helping Hand

No matter how tight your schedule, there’s always time to extend a helping hand to someone in need. Whether that be helping a friend with homework or stopping for a moment to talk with a person who is homeless, spending a little time and effort on a person is one of the greatest things you can do for them. It reminds a person that they’re worth something to someone; there are a lot of people who don’t feel that way all the time. Taking just a few minutes out of your day could change someone’s life.

When it comes down to it, people have the ability to do tremendous evil and tremendous good. I hope we can all take a little time and effort to do some good and show some love.

Photo courtesy of Unsplash

Shaelyn Ryan is a first year student at Queen's University, and is a fiction writer, having completed and self published two novels. She would love to answer questions and comments about her articles, writing, or anything at all at sjryan1900@gmail.com!
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