13th century Persian poet Rumi once said, “Your acts of kindness are iridescent wings of divine love, which linger and continue to uplift others long after your sharing.”
However, eight centuries later, I can confidently say that kindness is the one trend that never goes out of style. Amidst the hustle and bustle of today’s life, where people are sometimes more connected to their technology than they are to each other, we beg the question; why should we be kind to each other? And what really is the value of positive human relationships?
Growing up, I never failed to recognize the value of kindness. The first act of kindness I ever experienced was before I was even born, can you believe that?! You see, my parents are immigrants, and my older sister was born shortly after they came to Canada. The sacrifices they made by leaving all they knew in order for my siblings and I to have a better life was the first act of kindness I was ever shown. It is important to note that they didn’t think about what they could get out of this, simply what they could give.
And this point is crucial, it is important to be kind simply to…be kind. The other day on campus I saw a mother struggling to get her stroller off a ledge. Without any hesitation, a man asked her if she needed any help and she seemed so relieved to have had that assistance. This altruistic behaviour really touched my heart because simply put, in this crazy and hectic life, it is good to see that there still is good out there. It is heartwarming to have people who will hold open a door, help you carry something heavy, or text you to say “hey have you gotten home safely yet?”
This world can be filled with chaos sometimes, and everybody has their own demons they battle. The truth is, there will always be struggles and hardship in each of our paths to success and happiness. In the midst of all that, we owe it to each other to be kind, caring, and compassionate. We owe it to each other to be there for each other, as we may never know when we need someone there for us. We owe it to each other to look out for each other because, at the end of the day, we are not so different after all.
And perhaps it is your kind gesture, or your warm smile, that makes you stand out. It could be the smallest thing that someone remembers that presents new opportunities or experiences to you. Maybe your kind actions make you someone’s recommendation, or maybe because you were kind, someone else is. Being kind can be the start of a chain of random acts of kindness. So go ahead, hold the next door for someone walking behind you, text that old friend you haven’t talked to in a while and ask how they are doing, pick up a piece of garbage you see, and just be kind.
Be kind to yourself and be kind to others.