Story by Opinion Editor Grace VanHaitsma
I have always considered myself to be a kind person. In fact, that has always been a word that adults, especially, have used to describe me: “Grace is such a kind person!” But this week, a thought dawned on me: Am I really that kind? I think of all the negative things I say to my friends about others and I realize that I can do better.
It is natural to gossip about others—all of us have a natural tendency to vent about others that frustrate us to those we are close with. But I realized this week that it had become a problem for me; I felt like I was constantly speaking negatively about someone, or even making fun of someone. As a person who has been bullied before, I began to worry that I had become the person I used to hate.
The other day I made a pact with myself: I was going to stop talking negatively about others as much as I possibly could. While I know there will be times that I will slip up, I am determined to start being kinder to everyone, including myself. Talking negatively about others only spreads more negativity. As I gear up for graduation and a new era of my life, I want to be in a mindset of true positivity and kindness. While it is natural to not like everyone, I am going to try my hardest to be as kind as I can to everyone.
One of my favorite quotes since high school is, “Everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about. Be kind, always.” I know this quote to be true for me and many others as well. I am going to start actually being kind this spring, and I hope you all will join me. Kindness is not just the outward actions you show to others; it is also what your behavior when they are not around. Let’s be kind to each other—to each other’s faces and behind their backs.