Kindness is Underrated

By Brent Ramirez
Blog Content Contributor

It seems that with everything going on in the world today, things like kindness and gratitude are scarce. No, I’m not talking about the novelty acts of kindness you read about on Facebook, i.e. when someone decides to pay for the person behind them in the drive through. I’m talking about the mere action of holding a door open for someone or saying thank you. It’s like people have equated simple acts of kindness to things they do when they feel the other deserves it, or if they feel “generous.” Why do people have to rely on themselves having a good day to make someone else’s day good?

Why bother being kind in a rather unkind world?

Call me an optimist, but I believe spreading the smallest ounce of kindness and positivity has the potential to point humanity towards being better. On the other hand, the realist in me knows that being nice to a bully won’t magically turn them into your best friend. Despite this, I never abandon the straightforward concept of treating others the way I want to be treated. It’s the “Golden Rule.” This, to me, has always seemed like a rather simple way of projecting overall good into the world. If you treat someone with the same respect you yourself would like to be treated with, what would give that person reason to treat you otherwise? Unfortunately it seems to be much more complicated than that in this day and age.

In a time where the internet is capable of sharing billions of ideas in an instant, it’s become much easier for people to spout hate and negativity behind the safety of their screens without the repercussions normally found in a face-to-face conversation. With the progress of social media rising, it also brings the rise of the troll and hate population. Everyday, more comments and reactions are vicious and are full of malicious intent. We can’t even hold civilized arguments online without resorting to name calling, a tactic used back in the fifth grade when we didn’t agree with each other.

Nowadays, we have news stories and documentaries on people committing suicide due to things like online bullying, and I’m not bringing this up to perpetuate the idea that we as a society are turning into snowflakes. I’m bringing this up because this culture has become reality. I don’t know if there has always been this much hate in the world, or that the internet has finally opened our eyes to what was always there. Regardless, in our current online environment and society in general, I’m finding it more important now than ever to simply be kind.

Kris&Laura
“I just try to be kind to those around me because I know how crazy life can be and sometimes that little dose of energy can make all the difference. “- Kristopher Tondre. Kristopher Tondre (left) and Laura Valencia (right). Photo by Brent Ramirez.

I don’t expect anyone to walk around as a saint after reading this article. I’m merely suggesting that we rely on good, and the kindness of our hearts to go forward without any conflict and endeavor presented to us. We only have so much time on this planet and there’s no way that we’ll know when that time is up. So why spend time hating and detesting? What does bitterness bring but anger and frustration? Truly, none of those don’t bring either party or joy. Perhaps you may even find yourself a happier individual if you in turn are good to those around you. Forgive me if I come off as preachy, but I think believing in the good of mankind is something not many people do anymore.

So say please. Say thank you. Hold the door for someone. If someone drops something on the floor, pick it up for them. Being kind is not a hard thing to do. The only thing kindness requires from you is character.

Featured image by Brent Ramirez.

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