OPINION: The world needs more kindness

Maleigh Crespo, Op/Ed Editor

It goes without saying that the world has shifted in the last two years, but as we try to return to some semblance of normalcy, we need to lean on each other. 

We’ve experienced loss and trauma in more ways than one, and we need to acknowledge their lingering effects.

The pandemic robbed us of human connection and left us with nothing but heartache and tragedy.

Depression rates tripled in the U.S. in the early months of 2020. And the rates haven’t decreased as depression continues to affect more than one in five Americans.

Studies show that acts of kindness can improve overall well-being. In fact, a single act of kindness can trigger a neurotic response that releases serotonin and oxytocin, which are neurotransmitters that make us feel good and connected to others.

After two years of limited social interaction, we need to get back to the basics of common humanity.

It’s easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of life that we forget about the little things: smiling at strangers, holding the door open, thanking service workers, putting your cart back in the cart corral after shopping. These are small acts of kindness that can be implemented into everyday life that can lead to habitual kindness. And if anything needs to be normalized in 2022, it’s kindness. 

I’m a firm believer of “put good in, get good out.” Don’t be afraid to be the first to extend an act of goodwill. Ask the person who sits next to you in class how their day is going or what they did over the weekend. Initiate conversation that goes beyond “can I borrow a pencil?” or “what was the homework?” 

Being a kind person goes beyond just being nice. We can all be nice, but with a little bit of work, we can all be kind, too.

Go that extra mile. Think about what you’re saying to others. Be cognizant of how your actions affect others. Meet people where they are.

Extend a helping hand, complete a selfless act of service, and make kindness contagious. Inspire others to be kinder by showing kindness. We could all use a little grace in our lives, especially after all we’ve been through. 

As we desperately try to regain composure after the worldwide beatdown, we could use a hand — or two — to get back on our feet.

And while a single act of kindness isn’t going to solve all the problems in the world, it’s certainly a start to making it a happier place to be.