Kindness: the most important thing in life


“Who, in your life do you remember most fondly, with the most undeniable feelings of warmth? Those who were kindest to you, I bet.”

Becky Swig | Editor-in-Cheif

In my English class, we listened to part of a speech by George Saunders (a short story fiction writer) that he gave at a graduation at Syracuse University. Saunder’s talked about the importance of kindness and how the people we remember the best are the ones who are the kindest.

“I’d say, as a goal in life, you could do worse than: Try to be kinder.” Kindness, although tough at times, is something that is absolutely necessary to be happy. Why not just be nice? What is the benefit of being mean, or making fun of that girl for wearing an ugly shirt, or laughing at what that person loves to do?

In my life, the people I surround myself with are often the kind and caring ones. I don’t want to have a lot of negativity around me, so I strive to be friends with nice people. That interaction with positive attitudes impacts me in many ways: I find it easy to lift my spirits around my friends, being happier generally, and just having the ability to talk to anyone and not judge right off the bat.

Often times people who aren’t kind tend to assert power over the people around them in order to make themselves feel better, or because they feel threatened. In my opinion, you will be extremely happy if you are nice to people rather than making them feel bad about themselves. Bringing others down to boost yourself up is only a temporary gain of “happiness.” Long-term happiness is determined by how you view and feel about yourself, and that will surely be more positive if you exhibit kindness.

While it can be a challenge to be kind all of the time, putting in the extra effort to do so will be beneficial. It is easier said than done because there are those people that you just don’t get along with, but it is always good to make the attempt.

Creative Commons photo from Enver Rahmanov on Wikimedia


Here is an animation to a portion of Saunders’ speech: