Guest blog by CJ
For me, it’s the small things that have made life in 2020 bearable. Even when things seem hopeless, I know I can always look back on the kindness others have bestowed upon me and remember that everything will be okay. I’m here to share a few of the things in my life that have inspired me, and I hope it helps you remember some of the small but impactful things that have happened to you as well. We could all use a reminder of the good things in life!
Before I started college, I was worried about finances. How could I not be worried? My whole life I heard college is insanely expensive and student loans were horrible. I couldn’t see a way around any of this and it weighed heavy. Luckily, at my high school graduation, received an extremely generous offer to pay for all of my textbooks from one of my family members! As you can imagine, that took a huge weight off my shoulders. (If you’ve ever had to buy college textbooks, you know how generous this offer truly is.) Although the expense occurs a few times a year, her spreading kindness in this way took my stress away and for that I couldn’t be more thankful.
Fast forward to my second semester of college. I stepped out of my dorm room to pick up my laundry and when I came back my roommate told me someone she didn’t recognize dropped off a letter for me. Strange, but I opened it. The card said “You’re doing great, keep it up!” with $40 in cash inside (which feels like a hundred when you make $9/hour). No indication at all of who it was from. I had a suspicion of who it was and figured they sent a random person to deliver the card. I never figured it out and felt guilty that I couldn’t thank them, but it speaks so much to their character that they did not need credit. I still remember it to this day. Sometimes, things are even more impactful when you do it out of the kindness of your heart and don’t need credit as hard as that may be.
Being on the receiving end of kindness is wonderful but giving back kindness is just as important and can have the same positive impact. It’s for that reason that I love the atmosphere of a college campus. By simply walking from one place to another, I’m usually greeted by at least one person or a group handing out candy or telling me to have a great day. Some of them even go as far as to bring shelter dogs to the campus for students to play with. Though most of these people are trying to advertise or spread awareness of their club or organization that doesn’t make their actions any less kind. In fact, I think it’s great they’ve discovered kindness as the best way to get through to people.
I found a small club at my university called the “Kindness Commission” which does a lot of these same things, but for the sole purpose of being kind. We write messages in chalk all over the sidewalks, put up fliers, and give out treats (typically with cute but cheesy puns attached) just to make people’s day. It’s fun! I’m convinced I gain just as much joy seeing someone smile after being given a nice little message as I would having been given one myself. This is one of the ways I see myself paying forward the kindness I receive and I think everyone should try to do that as well. The best part is that it can be easy and take very little time! For me, it’s just like being in any other club, but with the addition of spreading positivity to those around me.
I know most of these experiences directly relate to being a college student (which only some can relate to), but I know for a fact that kind things are happening everywhere and can be done anywhere. I hope my little stories were entertaining and maybe reminded you of similar things that have happened in your life. Let those things inspire you to be a better person and spread kindness!
What small acts do you do to bring joy to someone’s day?