Kindness, A Virtue

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I feel like kindness is one of the most undervalued virtues in today’s society. We don’t seem to give it the attention or appreciation that it deserves. So many of us have become accustomed to living our lives for ourselves, and ourselves only. How often do we look around us and take in our surroundings — all the different people we pass on the streets, the happy children in the parks, that boy at the Subway with his nose in a book? We’re surrounded by so many stories — the happy and the sad, the beautiful and the heartbreaking. Humanity is so interconnected — despite our outer differences, we are the same deep down. As Dumbledore from Harry Potter so eloquently puts it, “though we may come from different places, and speak in different tongues, our hearts beat as one.”

When you come to terms with this, you’ll also begin to realize that you are not alone. There is always going to be someone out there who is facing the same demons as you are. Everyone that you meet in this life is fighting a battle. Sometimes it isn’t so evident. Think about it: perhaps some of those strangers that you bump into on the street are dealing with a broken heart, a death in the family, or even fighting depression. The funny thing is, we’ll never know just how much someone else is hurting. We could literally be standing next to somebody who is completely broken, and we’d have absolutely no idea. To strangers, the wounds inflicted on us from the battles that we fight are almost invisible. So we become insensitive, selfish in how we seem to only care about our life — our family, our friends, our neighbors. These strangers just become a blur of faces, rather than individuals possessing their own unique qualities, living their own beautiful and complicated lives.

So here’s some food for thought: be kind. Be kind to everyone that you meet, because they too are a person and they too are trying to find their way through this crazy thing called life. Be kind in the way you take time to reflect about this, be kind in the way you smile at a stranger to brighten their day, be kind in the way you realize your fears and theirs matter just as much. This kindness that comes from the heart is what will make you more empathetic and compassionate, which in turn will only shape you into a better human being.

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