Editor’s Column: The Choice To Be Kind Isn’t Up For Debate

Isabella Chan, Editor-In-Chief

On my 17th birthday, I completed 17 acts of kindness. While some of them were grand gestures of buying my favorite teacher flowers and donating clothes to a shelter, others were smaller like holding the door open for a stranger and giving someone a compliment.

The simple acts weren’t exhausting or tedious, in fact it felt like a breath of fresh air to give to others and help someone without hesitation. So why is it so difficult for society to make kindness a priority rather than a privilege?

As Feb. 17 was Random Act of Kindness Day, I thought of the current state of our country and the compassion people have for one another, or lack thereof. We live in a time in which kindness is in short supply because people make it into something that must be earned not given. But that’s not how kindness works — it should be given to anyone without hesitation.

Why is it so hard for people to hold the elevator door for someone or simply say bless you as a person sneezes? Just because there isn’t a clear or immediate benefit from being kind doesn’t mean people shouldn’t do it. Kindness will make you a better person, literally.

Those who partake or simply witness such acts will begin to feel an increase in love hormones, self-esteem and optimism due to the release of oxytocin and serotonin, based on a study from Dartmouth College. It is also claimed that feelings of stress, depression and anxiety also decrease, as “perpetually kind people” have 23 percent less cortisol than the average population.

Despite these benefits, it seems kindness is almost nonexistent in our country, potentially because of our leaders inability to lead by example.

Politicians and representatives of our country should be better with their treatment of one other. Donald Trump snubbing Speaker of the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi by not giving her a handshake is just unnecessary. And for Pelosi to rip apart Trump’s speech is blatantly rude.

Despite having differences amongst them, there is a level of professionalism that needs to persist and simple acts of kindness that should remain on said level. These professionals set a standard on how American citizens treat each other therefore their actions of disrespect permit others to do the same.

If people were willing to give a minute of kindness to each person they meet then our society would be substantially better in terms of human interaction. Kindness does not debilitate a person but it can lessen the strength of a nation.

In the words of President Franklin D. Roosevelt, “human kindness has never weakened the stamina or softened the figure of a free people. A nation does not have to be cruel to be tough.”