Kindness isn’t a killer, but thoughtlessness is

By Ashley Lytle, Reporter

Have we lost our ability to be kind? To embrace and practice nice acts in our daily lives? It’s things like the app Brighten that help convince me otherwise, but then again it also reminds me of how far we’ve drifted away from this old fashion value that really was quite great.

I loved the idea of Brighten, an app where you can post anonymous compliments to your friends with the aim to help “brighten” their day. Then I realized I found it easier to compliment people like this. This being anonymously.

I realized also how many people were complimenting each other, more than I hear daily walking the halls of my school. It was then I began to come to a sad realization.

We no longer embrace the idea of regularly being kind to all those around us. Instead it’s become a rarity that many don’t feel comfortable expressing. Even when it is expressed some confuse it with flirting.

Now we encourage people to do random acts of kindness. Yet it shouldn’t be random because they should happen all the time.

You should find it common to see someone giving out compliments to those around them, whether they are strangers, acquaintances, or friends. You should find it common to hear a story of someone helping those in need or even those who could just use a little pick me up.

Someone brought up the argument but then wouldn’t we appreciate them less? I don’t think we would. How would you feel to be regularly reminded of how amazing you are? How smart you are? How funny you are? Or maybe how beautiful you are?

As to when we lost the idea of daily practicing kindness, I’m not sure. I think this time of year as the holidays are taking place it’s a reminder to continue to strive to be kind to people every day. In my opinion, that’s what holidays like Christmas are all about.

It’s not about how many presents you get or how much they cost but instead, it’s about seeing someone’s face light up when you give them a little something. The feeling as everyone opens their presents is one of my favorites. If you stop and look around, you can just feel the pure love and happiness in the room.

To live a life where it’s a normality to express your appreciation and to compliment others for who they are would be a wonderful one.

With so many people telling us who we should be, don’t we ever stop to think maybe we should be telling people how great they are now? Maybe that would help with the rate of depression, eating disorders, and suicides that have sprouted up all around.

When you give someone a compliment or do a nice act for them, look at their face. I guarantee you will feel a little better with yourself. Watch as their face lights up and they think to themselves, “I can’t believe someone took a moment out of their life to make mine a little brighter.” Their face will light up a little and you’ll know you did something good. You won’t just know either. You’ll feel it inside of you, that warm feeling you get when you give.

Sometimes I feel I was born in the wrong time period. I love some of these old fashion traditions/values that we held so dearly and it saddens me to see them gone. This one in particular I don’t understand. How could we have strayed so far from practicing kindness in our daily lives that we now gloritize it to complementing the few that still do.

It should not be some rare gift that you get every once in awhile. This should be something we all practice often. It is so absolutely painless to tell someone how amazing they are. It is so incredibly easy to give someone a helping hand when they’re struggling to get up.

Yes, I love the app Brighten and I plan to continue to use it, but I plan to use it as a bridge to embracing committing acts of kindness with the goal of brightening someone’s day in my daily life and not just anonymously through the screen of my iPhone.