Kindness is not about the idealistic concept of doing what is expected of an individual but doing a humble act that will pull the strings in the heart of a person. When I was around the age of nine, my uncle Tulio and I had an annual tradition of going downtown every spring. The best and most memorable experience on one account was when we were wandering placidly around the Buckingham Fountain on a gentle, breezy afternoon.
As we came halfway through an intersection, we saw a man pacing back and forth at the corner of the street. It seemed as though he was attempting to compose himself. But a few seconds later, he broke down and with a broken heart began to curse at the wind. My first thought was that my uncle would deem the man mad and drag me towards the opposite side of the sidewalk. Instead he gave me his backpack, walked oh so cautiously towards the complete stranger, and hugged him.
However, the hug was more than just a millisecond embrace; it was a bond captured in the very glimpse of an eye. It was a moment of intensiveness, understanding, and an unfathomable connection between two human beings. As soon as my uncle hugged him, the man immediately clutched onto him. The man wept and let out his last tears, but the tears were not a cry for pain; they were a cry of gratitude. The man felt at ease knowing that at least one person in a world of billions acknowledged his pain and cared.
The problem with society is that people brush by each other day after day when they walk along the same sidewalk or a crowded hallway as though they were all from an extraterrestrial planet. We go through the day without noticing all the pain exemplified by the millions of gestures from a person only a few feet apart from us.
People walking down a street throw meaningless coins at the homeless as though their lives will become instantaneously better with the value of a few cents. We click the "like" icon on a post on Facebook regarding a social issue with the mindset that by liking that post, the social matter will be resolved.
Kindness is not materialistic nor is it pitiful. It is not giving a "like" to a morose post on a social media site or handing change to the homeless.
Instead of kindness, people tend to give strangers contempt. People believe they have no reason to socialize with people they do not know but hope to find we are all alike. In the end, humans from all ethnic backgrounds and with different life stories, as well as different experiences, have and are born with the skill to truly understand each other, help one another, and ultimately live in harmony.
Kindness is given to us in unique and unexpected ways by others and by projecting kindness and sharing it with others, the world will know true peace.
By Alejandro Lopez, Hancock Junior
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