Rule number one: keep your hands and your feet to yourself. Rule number two: respect your fellow classmates.
From our first day of kindergarten, these simple rules have been a part of the classroom law, and after 13 years of required school, some of us have left these ideals in the dust.
We live in a world that is full of hate, deceit and deception. Left and right we see bullying, discrimination, blackmail, fraud and so forth. I have had people be downright rude to me because the store I work at doesn’t carry their favorite meat. Classmates snicker at each other’s questions and students disrespect their professors. What happened to the principles that our brave teachers tried to instill in us?
Some of us were taught to be kind from the day we left the womb. Our parents understood the importance and impact of kindness, so they chose to begin enriching our lives with it at a young age. Those school rules just became an added reinforcement of what we learn at home and maybe even at church. Many Christian religions teach of Jesus Christ, who said in John 15:14: “Love one another, as I have loved you.” Also, many religions teach kindness and peace as a way of life.
A number of kids hear the word kindness for the first time in their lives on the first day of elementary school. We often refer to these kids as troubled or misbehaved because they lack the understanding of kindness that the other children have. Yet, it could be because they come from a broken home or they haven’t quite grasped the concept of kindness. We can’t think that they will never learn.
“All of us have an intense desire to be loved and nurtured.” said Dr. Raj Raghunathan, a professor of marketing at the University of Texas at Austin, in his article “The Need to Love“. “The need to be loved… could be considered one of our most basic and fundamental needs.”
The sense or feeling of love stems from kindness. We are all equal, we all deserve equal chances, and we all deserve equal love. We live in this world together and wander untrodden paths side by side; it should be relatively pleasant to do so. Showing kindness unto others will allow for more interconnectedness in the world and decrease the amount of hate.
There is a risk by always being kind but it is worth it. When I was in the first grade I became good friends with one of my classmates. One day when playing a game in class, I picked someone else besides him to follow me in the game and he pushed me into the wall out of anger. In a split second all the kindness he had towards me disappeared. We avoided each other after the incident because he remained bitter towards me, but I don’t regret being his friend.
Being kind to others brings me happiness. As a Christian, I believe we are all children of God and we should treat others as we would want to be treated. Being kind is a service unto others. We don’t know how anyone’s day was or what they are going through but we can help by just being kind.
No matter where you come from or what your history is, you can learn to be kind. It can become a part of you. It doesn’t matter if you are black, Caucasian, Pacific Islander, gay, straight, or a people-hater, there is kindness in you.
Kindness can combat hate. Hate often forms because of disagreement but we can agree to disagree. If we are kind to everyone we can work together to solve the problems of this world instead of quarreling over our different ideals.
Our teachers and our parents weren’t enforcing those rules upon us for no reason at all. Kindness is a key to success, they know that, and I believe it is a key to lasting happiness.
I believe in kindness. I believe in love. I believe kindness and love can heal what nothing else can. Be kind. Be respectful. It all starts with you.