"This I Believe" 2013 Selection
Rochester High School
I believe in kindness. The small act of holding the door, or smiling as someone passes. Everyday on the news I hear of an arguing government, a suffering economy, and a war overseas. It is hard to keep a kind spirit when it seems that anger surrounds us. In times like these, I believe that kindness is more important than ever.
At the beginning of this school year, my family and I took a vacation to Austria and Germany. While we were there I experienced a multitude of kindnesses. I had never spoken a word of German before I went, so the language barrier was quite difficult, but people were always willing to help out and to break that wall with the little English they knew. Though these people did not know us, they were not put out by helping and reaching out to us. We were travelling from Maria Alm, Austria to Munich, Germany and we needed to stop somewhere to eat. We were in a more rural area, and after some time we finally found a small village with a restaurant. The waitress spoke very little English. We communicated with her the best that we could, and we ate a delicious meal. When we were finished, as we paid the bill, the waitress said. “I hope you have a nice time in our country”. This took so much courage from her, and it was wonderful that she passed on her kindness.
We must pass on the kindness in our hearts every day. Through this we can show someone that we care, and allow ourselves to grow. With malice and hatred, we break ourselves away from the world. We close ourselves off. Kindness lets us open up, to greet the world with open arms and an open heart.
This is a time of social, political, and economic change around the world. Nobody is going to agree with everything that is said, but with kindness we can gain understanding. We can bridge the gaps of our disagreements, aid communication between sides, and come together. My experience with the waitress prompted me to understand the importance of kindness and the way it allows me to feel welcome wherever I am.
Kindness is a universal language. It connects us all as people, and opens us up to life and to love.