with every soul
for every single morning
you wake up,
there is someone
– Sylvia Plath
It’s been a while. Valentine’s Day, my favorite holiday, came and went. People often pair Valentine’s Day and couples together, but to narrow a whole day meant for love to just those types of relationships is just not my style. To show love only on one day and not the other 364 days of the year should never be a goal, but when you’re at ground zero, it’s a place to start. However, it’s not just your significant other that deserves your love. Everyone around you is deserving of your love and kindness. Take a look around the coffee shop, or your current class, the dinner table, or wherever you are. Look at these people. Every single person is fighting their own battles. Some are winning. Some are losing, and most will never show it to you.
Writing about this takes me back to when I watched a video (attached below) on Kevin Hines, one of the few survivors from jumping off the Golden Gate Bridge. His story is incredibly powerful and I encourage you to take five minutes to watch it. He isn’t the only jumper who felt like he had no one. Another individual who didn’t survive the fall left a suicide note saying “I’m going to walk to the bridge. If one person smiles at me on the way, I won’t jump.” These are just 2 examples of the mental battle millions of people face every day. It’s heartbreaking and it hits home for me, because I’ve been that low, and I know a lot of you have as well and that it’s reality.
“According to a survey, 76 percent of respondents say the world is a less kind place than it was 10 to 20 years ago.” The world has never been an easy place to thrive on. “Approximately 1 in 5 adults in the U.S.—43.8 million, or 18.5%—experiences mental illness in a given year.” I can’t say that a little kindness will solve all things, but a little kindness goes a long way. Have you taken a moment to show another human being a little bit of kindness today? Even the smallest gesture can make the biggest impact on someone’s life. You can start today by doing something as simple as:
- Hold the door for someone
- Buy the person’s meal behind you in the drive through line
- Send a card (like a paper card with some nice words.. trust me this one is it)
- Share a nice treat with someone else (desserts are best!)
- Hold your umbrella for someone on a rainy day
- Smile at anyone and everyone
- Ask them how they’re doing
- If appropriate, hug someone
Remember that everyone is going through it. Life is a series of troughs and crests, and sometimes we get caught up at a trough. Choose today to be a little twinkle of light during what may be a bleak moment in someone else’s life, as I hope others will do to you as well. We all deserve love. Always practice kindness.