featuring the work of young journalists from Simcoe Muskoka Catholic District High Schools
From a young age, we are often taught by our caregivers about the importance of showing kindness through our actions. It is through this that we develop a sense of empathy which enables us to place compassion for others above ourselves. However, the value of kindness is often forgotten in our busy and chaotic society.
This does not mean that kindness no longer exists. In recent years, the term ‘random acts of kindness’ has become quite popular – meaning an event or scenario where an individual may carry out an action for no apparent reason with the intention of making another person feel a sense of happiness or pride. One such event recently took place at St. Peter’s Catholic Secondary School in Barrie.
Routine is a natural part of everyday life for the average student, however, that does not always mean it is good. One student, in particular, Shawanna C., noticed the negative effect it was having on fellow classmates and took it upon herself to bring about change. Browsing through Snapchat, she came across the story ‘Pay it Forward’ and admired the effortless acts of kindness.
The next day, she decided she wanted to pay it forward, too. Going to Zehrs at lunch, she noticed a pretty bouquet of flowers and decided it would be the perfect opportunity to brighten someone’s day. Returning to school, she searched for students who she thought might need a reason to smile and presented them with a flower. Immediately, she began to see positive reactions. Suddenly, Shawanna’s classmates were smiling and laughing.
Shawanna talked about her act of kindness that day, “I felt proud of myself. When I first decided to choose flowers, I saw them as a symbol that would allow others to know I thought about them and cared about them. At first, it was just a random thought I had but I’m glad I turned it into a reality as I see how it impacted people in a positive way. The next day, I actually had people message me on social media and come up to me in class saying I ‘made their month’. It really made me feel happy knowing I made others happy.”
Often we are unaware of what other people may be going through. By being kind, we may be able to change how other individuals’ view life. This experience shows that a little bit of positivity can ultimately go a long way in changing the lives of many people. Random acts of kindness can create an ongoing chain of positive events!
Now ask yourself, what will you do to bring about kindness to those around you?