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To Afsah, From Michelle
Art by Michelle Zhuang

Kindness sweetens hustle-bustle of life

To Afsah, From MichelleAs the finals week quickly approaches, the school atmosphere feels thick with stress. Teachers scramble to wind up their lessons, chapter tests seem to be coming up in every class, and students frantically fill out study guides for final exams. It’s around this time that students start to crack under the pressure, with many tears and sniffles lingering in the hallways. Even I find myself becoming angry or overly emotional from the most insignificant things.

The emotional roller-coaster that marks the last few weeks of a semester makes us forget the simpler things in life, but it also makes us appreciate them more when we are given a reminder. In the past couple of weeks, I realized how much a simple act of kindness means to me. They’re small gifts that remind us of what life is really about, and it hurts to think that I take these simple acts of kindness for granted.

I had a bad day last week, to say the least. What helped me make it through that day was mainly the attitude of the people around me. People who are willing to put aside their own worries to console me when I’m stressed. People who are always willing to lend a hand to help me. One of my friends wrapped me in a warm hug and consoled me. Several other classmates gave me loving smiles as they passed by in the halls. To top it all off, a big bag of M & M’s was waiting for me in the journalism room. These small details made me realize something I hadn’t given much thought to before.

There are random acts of kindness all around us. It only takes a minute to open our eyes and actually see them.

Whether it’s a stranger opening a door for me or a friend giving me a warm smile and a hug on a bad day, it’s incredible to think of how significant the impact of such a favor can have. They can truly turn a frown upside-down and wipe away a tear. A pleasant atmosphere can change even the most dismal mood and fill it with laughter.

However, these kind gestures always seems to go unnoticed. People don’t seem to acknowledge them. Even I realize that I am too involved in my own problems to give any thought to the kindness that’s always around me.

It’s a shame to think that acts of kindness are overlooked so easily and are given little merit. We should all take the time to stop and think about how nice people are, whether they are close friends or family members or random strangers. But instead, we take the kindness around us for granted.

By Afsah Khan

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