Opinion: The Power of Kindness


An anonymous RHS student sending rude messages to another student.

During my short seventeen years of walking the earth, I have found there to be one thing that can shine through any amount of darkness. Through actions and words, this valuable thing can transform someone’s day, someone’s life, and can even change the world, kindness. 

Growing up, I had found the act of kindness to come easy. I knew to say please and thank you, I knew to hold the door for other people in public, and I knew that even smiling at someone walking past in the store was a nice gesture. However, with recent events and the changing tides around the globe, it has become harder to believe that others knew the same as I did. 

Mass political division, racial injustice, and pandemic fears have all coated the last year with unrest and confusion that has left more impudence to be unfolded in society. Social media is one place that has become a center of conversation about these issues, but these conversations are not always civil. 

Senior Chloe Rack states, “I think that when it comes to social media many people think that they can say whatever about who ever they want because they can hide behind a screen. Specifically, 2020 could have been or possibly was the worst year for people to mistreat others online because so many people were stuck at home with little to no activities so they went to social media and that’s when it happened. I think that this is an issue that has been happening and will continue to happen until people can change who they are before logging into a screen.” 

Throughout 2020, I have changed a lot and I think many can say the same. Before, I never thought about having deep conversations about politics, human rights, or racial justice with any of my family or friends. I also never thought that I would encounter people who would willingly never talk to someone again due to their own opinions. I found out that some people didn’t know the act of kindness and respect like I did. 

Rack also said, “I think kindness is a really big thing that people should have focused more on in 2020… I think there were a lot of rivalries in 2020 that people didn’t really think about. They just thought about what’s best for them or their ‘kind’ and I feel like [if] people would have just thought about treating other people with kindness and stuff it would have not turned out the way that it did….”

Now in a new year, I feel a step towards a light of change, hope, and kindness. These things don’t come easy, and they don’t come overnight. However, little steps go a long way. 

When you wake up in the morning, choose love and kindness. When you see your friend or even someone you’ve never talked to in the hallway tomorrow, give them a compliment. And when you are at lunch, listen to the people around you and have civil conversations. Steps like these are small, but they can change the world.