Editorial: Be the greater good

Change starts at the lowest levels


Valerie Benzinger

“Every movement starts somewhere; why not with you?”

In a world of mean-spirited comments on Instagram posts and teasing the “weird” kids in the halls, we need to be the greater good. Though the “Kindness” advisory lessons may seem cheesy at times, value exists in listening to what they have to say.

Maybe there’s a girl in one of your classes who’s new to the district; she’s shy and doesn’t appear to have a lot of friends. You sit with her in class but don’t see her much elsewhere. Then you see she sits alone at lunch.

Talk to her.

Maybe a boy you see every day in the hallways seems upset today. You’ve never talked to him before and you don’t want to seem awkward, but you want him to have a good day.

Say something.

The reason doesn’t matter: the action does.

It may seem lame because it’s easier to simply ignore your peers instead of lending a helping hand. You may be afraid to be judged by your friends for showing kindness to the “weird” kid, or for going out of your way to do something nice.

Why let the fear of someone else’s opinion make you less kind?

Spreading kindness throughout the school takes a conscious effort from each individual involved. Teachers, staff, students: this is your wake-up call. Take the initiative; just be nice! You don’t have to start with huge, extravagant acts to show you care about someone. Kindness starts with something as simple as holding the door open for a stranger and grows from there.

With a positive environment in our school, everyone can feel free to express themselves. Students could coexist without fear of judgement or shame. We, as a school, are on the right track, but we need more effort put toward improving our social environment.

Take every opportunity you receive to spread kindness, joy and love. What may be a small gesture of kindness to you could be a life-changing interaction for someone else.

You may be thinking you can’t change anything in the world because you’re only one person. But if everyone thinks that, then no one will ever do anything influential.

Every movement starts somewhere; why not with you?