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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Utah chapter.

It’s interesting to learn how big of an impact a simple gesture of kindness can make on someone’s life. It’s not very often that we get the chance to see from another’s perspective the impression we have made. It does not have to be some big action in order to transform someone’s perspective; most of the time it’s the little things that make the biggest difference.

For me, this day was just like any other. I was focused on school and was finally ready to dive into the big pile of homework that I had procrastinated thus far. It was at this time that I had a thought come into my mind: I wonder how Micah is doing. Despite thinking that he’s probably fine and that he didn’t need me checking up on him, I sent him a quick text anyways: Are you okay?

person holding iphone outside
Photo by Paul Hanaoka from Unsplash

Returning to my homework and the daunting pile, I quickly forgot about this simple message and went back to my life. Minutes passed by and I thought nothing of it, but the eventual reply I got was a simple, yet desperate cry for help: No.

My heart broke a little, and I decided to do everything in my power to cheer him up. I had no idea what was going on, but I sent him this long text about how amazing he was, the impact he’s had on my life, and how grateful I was to have him in my life. I just wanted him to know that I appreciated him and that someone who cared was around if he needed someone. Once I was satisfied that he was okay, we moved on with our conversation and with our lives, and I didn’t give this conversation a second thought. It wasn’t until much later that he allowed me the chance to hear his side of this story.

Despite me having a perfectly normal day, Micah was having one of the worst days of his life. It was on this day that he decided he was going to end his life. My dear friend Micah had realized that the people that were supposed to care about him, didn’t. The people that were supposed to be there for him through thick and thin, weren’t. With crippling thoughts running through his mind, and tears streaming down his face, Micah was determined to end it all. In his opinion, life just wasn’t worth living anymore, and it was time for the darkness to take over. As he was sitting in his room thinking that he was completely alone in the world and that maybe the world would be better off without him, he received my text containing three simple words that proved someone cared: Are you okay?

To this day, I have no idea why he chose to give me the chance to unknowingly help, but in a final cry for aid, he decided to tell me his simple truth: he was not okay. My three words stopped what could’ve been a devastating act. Those four measly syllables changed his life forever. I had unconsciously reminded him that he was not alone; someone was there for him. 

Now I know that we don’t always have the chance to see the impact, but you never know how far a simple gesture can go. A simple smile could change someone’s whole day. A simple hug could make someone feel like they aren’t falling apart. A simple text could stop a fatal mistake.

Reach out to someone this week and offer them a little kindness. Help them know that you were thinking of them and that someone cares. Help them live another day.

My response reminded Micah that life is beautiful and even when it feels like there’s nothing, there really is so much to live for. Through my simple gesture of kindness, I unintentionally showed him an alternate course.

And after that, Micah lived.

Pre-med junior studying Psychology and Anthropology.
Her Campus Utah Chapter Contributor