Fair warning: this isn’t going to be my usual diatribe on the perils and injustices of modern society. Although I stand by the importance of those kinds of topics, I would like to talk about something far more important.
I want to talk about being kind to one another.
This past week, I experienced a really interesting role reversal. I am the president of the CSU Triathlon team and our Halloween 5k was this past Saturday, an event that benefits both our team and a local organization called Athletes in Tandem. We were on campus promoting our event and from my perspective, we were being perfectly polite; simply making an effort to spread the word about our event.
We began our dialogue with a simple “Do you enjoy Halloween? Do you enjoy running?” And although I can respect that some people do not enjoy either of those activities, some people were incredibly rude. Between the snide remarks and dirty looks, I almost felt sorry for all the times that I ignored the “Hey, can I ask you a few questions?” folks. Almost.
Everyone has “stuff”: those things that you inexplicably just cannot stand. Those days when you just can’t handle anyone or anything that gets in your path. But whatever it is—whatever your baggage is, wherever it came from and however it has manifested itself—we’ve got to be in this together.
I recognize the impossibility of being a smiling, sunshiny person 100 percent of the time. But I feel like it’s our human obligation to at least make an effort to act towards one another in this “spirit of brotherhood” indicated by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
The fact of the matter is that however you might refer to them—your peeps, homies, bros, sisters, besties—we’re all humans and we’re all just hanging out on this earth doing the best we can to do the right thing. And due to that inherent fact, despite circumstance or situation, we all deserve to be treated with kindness.
It might seem fluffy and fruitless. But I’d like to say thank you all of the people that I’ve been fortunate enough to encounter who embody this spirit of unparalleled, unexpected and often unreciprocated kindness. You all remind me of the responsibility that comes with being a part of the human race. There’s no such thing as being better than someone else, so you might as well start your day off with a smile on that face of yours and greet the day with kindness on your face. You’d be surprised at the extent to which projecting outward happiness can impact your inward feelings.
So, I know it seems simple, Rams. But do not underestimate the power of being kind. You can never predict the implications that your actions may have on those involved in your life and, more importantly, those you didn’t even know were watching.
Geneva Mueller is a junior political science and international studies double major. Letters and feedback can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org