EDITORIAL: Kindness changes lives

Maybe making a difference is as simple as a single act. . .

When veteran Joseph Walker of Texas died at age 72, thousands of people in the community came together to pay respects to him at his funeral service. The catch is, all of these people were complete strangers.

I find it amazing that a group of strangers can join together to show love. It is people like this that restore humanity and shed light on what seems to be a dark world right now. Showing acts of kindness can go such a long way, even when it seems insignificant.

After Walker passed away, he had no family to attend his memorial at Central Texas State Veterans Cemetery. The people of his community honored the veteran and gave him the respect he deserved. When these people learned that he had no one, they decided to put their lives aside to celebrate this man’s life. It is astounding that this many people came to honor someone who had done so much for our country. Very rarely do we witness people come together in unison to perform a good deed anymore.

When we were younger, we were taught to be kind to one another, but we seem to be lacking that nowadays. What seems to be common sense has become difficult for us to grasp.  Because we live in such a negative world today, people have forgotten how to treat each other.

We complain about how horrible these days are, yet we do nothing about it. We have become too wrapped up in ourselves to take an interest in paying kindness forward to society. It is okay to focus on and take care of yourself, but that does not mean we have to ignore other people’s emotions.

It is actually scientifically proven that doing good around you leaves positive results. According to Goodnet, 40 studies by BMC Public Health have shown that doing good for your peers and community is actually healthy for your mental state. It has decreased depression and improved people’s satisfaction with their life. A study at the University of California by professor Sonja Lyubomirsky has also shown that doing positive acts at least once a day increases people’s happiness. Even scientifically, showing your kindness to people can impact your life and others.

If you want to contribute, here are some simple things you can do to make this world a better place:

  1. Volunteer at a local charities
  2. Sit with someone who is alone at lunch
  3. Hold the door for someone
  4. Remind someone how much you care about them
  5. Talk and hang out with someone new
  6. Donate clothes/toys you don’t use anymore
  7. Smile and talk to someone who is having a bad day

Though the world may seem as if it is falling apart, I feel that we can pull it back together by showing our kindness and compassion. If everyone would make their mark, our society would be united, despite our differences. As Morgan Freeman once said, “How can we change the world? One random act of kindness at a time.”