Let's Be Better

I’m tired, y’all.

I’m not just tired. I’m frustrated, angry, and downright sad.

This should come as no surprise to anyone, but the world is f*cked up right now (pardon my French). I mean wow. Between near-weekly mass shootings, an increasingly worrisome political climate, destructive natural disasters, and the millions of other things that continue making life on earth unpleasant, we need more goodness. It is of my perhaps naive belief that more goodness can only be achieved, in part, by learning to be kinder in any way that we can.

Please consider these two suggestions:

Be more sympathetic to others.

We must do a better job of “putting ourselves in other people’s shoes” so to speak, as that is essential to increasing our sympathy for and overall tolerance of those around us. This is especially important considering one of my all-time favorite quotes: “Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about.”

Recognize that nobody has it easy. Some have it easier than others, and it’s important to recognize those disparities, but at the end of the day, we are in this together. That is all the more reason to smile at strangers and live with a genuine heart.

Make random acts of kindness a regular part of your day.

When we realize everyone is fighting some kind of battle, we may feel more inclined to perform random acts of kindness. For example, going out of our way to hold doors for people is, in my opinion, one of the easiest random acts of kindness we can work into our daily routine.

Random acts of kindness don’t have to be large in scale or costly. Here are a few more examples:

  • Smile at people you make eye contact with throughout the day.

  • Compliment a stranger.

  • Let classmates borrow pencils, papers, etc. (Also, especially considering how stressful this semester has been, don’t hesitate to let people copy down lecture notes they missed being absent).

  • Let your loved ones know how much they mean to you (via in person, text, phone call, Facebook message, whatever works best).

  • Offer to pay for someone’s drink/food (without expecting anything in return).

  • Do something helpful without being prompted (like offering to cover someone’s shift at work if you notice they are having a difficult time).

Sometimes we underestimate the impact our actions have on other people, especially our positive actions. Speaking from personal experience, someone saying something as simple as, “I love your shirt!” has prevented me from slipping into an impending mental breakdown. Another great quote to live by: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”

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These suggestions are short and sweet and yes, they seem simple on the surface. You may even be thinking to yourself, I already do this stuff! But current events remind us that the world is not always as kind as it should be and we all need to do better. I know that at the individual level we cannot prevent mass shootings or control the political climate of the country. We certainly can’t prevent hurricanes and wildfires, as helpful as that would be. But there is so much power in kindness, and kindness is something inside all of us.  

Let’s use the power of kindness to our advantage. Let’s be better.

 

 

The views of this article do not represent Her Campus nor the views of the UNCW chapter.

 

(Photo courtesy of Pinterest)