Genuine kindness is one of the most valuable traits a person can possess. Having real concern for those around you and caring about how they feel makes you stand out among everyone else. Nothing makes me feel better or lifts me up more than when someone goes out of their way to make me feel good and let me know they care about me. It is so important to treat people with kindness and respect, but this unfortunately is something that people forget to do all too often.
I was sixteen years old when, terrified, I was forced to move from my home in a small town in northwest Ohio to the city of Kaysville, Utah. Before this, I had rarely left the safety of the town I grew up in and leaving it for good was a rude awakening. The culture shock was brutal and my shy, quiet nature made it difficult for me to find friends in a place where I felt like an outsider. Starting over at a new high school was one of the most difficult experiences of my life. However, it eventually became one of the best because of the kindness I was shown by a few very special people. They became my friends, made me feel at home, and showed that they truly cared about me. They made me feel included, wanted, and even loved. The kindness they showed me during a really difficult time will stay with me for the rest of my life.
This experience taught me a valuable lesson. Life is hard when you are alone and don’t feel cared about. It makes everything difficult when you are struggling with feelings like these. However, even the smallest things can make a huge difference. A kind word or a simple question can change how someone feels. Caring and kindness can be incorporated more in everyone’s lives and in schools just by people making a decision to be more open, talk to someone, give them a smile, ask them how they are doing, be their friend. Be aware of who may need someone in their life or who may need to be shown some kindness and friendship.
Kindness and caring can be implemented by venturing out of cliques and going out of your way to make someone feel included. It can be implemented by inviting someone to eat lunch with you. It can be done by talking to someone new in class instead of only conversing with the friends you already have. It can be done standing up to a bully and standing up for someone in need. People need to be aware of their peers and be willing to reach out and make new friends. There were many times during that first year at my new school when just one person’s kind personality made my day better. Kind acts, big and small, change lives. It only takes a little mindfulness and a little courage to go out of your comfort zone to be kind and show someone you care.