My Voice

February 21, 2013
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Sometimes when you least expect it a simple act of kindness can have a huge impact on someone’s life. In my sophomore year I saw a girl I did not know crying in the hallway. I walked up to her and said “you look like you need a hug.” I gave her one and then asked if I could help her with anything. I didn’t know until a year later, when she saw me during Catalina club that I was instrumental in preventing a suicide. One small hug (kindness) changed her life significantly.

(It’s the little things that count the most.)I learned this my JR. year during water polo. We had a new freshmen goalie trying out for the first time. After the first few practices she told me she was quitting; the sport was to physically and mentally draining. I told her I understood what she meant; I felt the same way years ago. I also promised her that it gets better after pre-season conditioning. Just because I was so nice and understanding she decided to trust me and it turns out that she now loves the sport.

What is kindness? Well it’s something you experience from someone or something else. Then you feel the need to pass it on. I’m naturally loud, and out going person. I find making new friends an easy task. I remember way back in fourth grade there was this new girl who joined our class. She was very shy and didn’t seem to like to talk much. She seemed alone at recess so I invited her to play on the bars with me. She quietly and timidly said yes. (That was the last quiet thing I heard her say.) Now eight years later she and I are still friends. We are both in marching band together and now she is using that not so quite voice of hers on student senate.

Sometimes just listening to people’s life stories can be that little act of kindness. In the summer of 2012 I went on a mission trip to Logan West Virginia. Our job was to clean, paint, and provide assistance to a woman who was 90 years old. She has two special need adult children still living with her. This lady was so incredibly thankful for what we were doing for her. The thing that made her smile the most was when someone would sit and chat with her. I became that someone: Her life was hard and her surroundings were depressing. We had to deal with cockroaches, dirty adult diapers and many other unpleasant things as we helped her recover from the flood. She told me about losing two sons to a gun fight, how she had gone through multiple house fires and floods. After all this she still “praised Jesus” she had tears in her eyes when I prayed for her. During this trip she kept referring to us as her angles. I didn’t give her a new home or a ton of money. We simply showed her kindness by giving her our time and a listening ear. What she treasured most.

I think showing kindness is very important to making people feel happy and loved. Sometimes when I think of showing kindness I think that it has to be in a huge world changing way. As a teenager I learned that kindness can be as simple as sharing your time, listening to their story and speaking kind words.

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