Be Kind to Everyone, Not Just Your Friends

Bekah, staff

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It sounds obvious. “Treat everyone with kindness” seems like such a simple saying. Generally, being nice to others is basic human decency, but so many people seem to forget that compassion doesn’t always come naturally.

Sometimes you have to remind yourself to be kind despite not wanting to. If your waitress at a restaurant is grumpy and even gets your order wrong, you’re probably really tempted to, like, complain about your service or at least give her a glare. She’s not your friend; you don’t know how her day’s been and you don’t know what she’s going through, so you tell yourself it’s okay to treat her unfairly because you don’t know. You assume she always has a bad attitude and she ruined your meal on purpose. And, you know, that might actually be true. But she does not deserve strangers to go out of their way to make her upset.

I’m not saying to be so kind that you give twenty dollars to every sad soul you run into, because compassion means nothing when it’s fake, forced—done only because you feel like you have to.

You’re probably thinking, “Yeah, you’re right. I hate when other people get upset at me when I haven’t done anything, so I shouldn’t do that, either.” That’s good. That’s how you should feel. Once you realize that being nice to people is rewarding simply because it’s the right thing, you’ll find that it comes a lot more naturally than before. Soon you’ll find yourself compassionate to that waitress, or to a person you just met, or even to a friend who constantly annoys you.

Compassion is not always simple. Sometimes it pains you to be kind when all you want to do is say a rude remark. You’re allowed to get upset. In the right situations, it’s okay to call out those who wronged you—but don’t take out your anger on those who are undeserving of it. Treat people you don’t know with respect, because they could be going through hardships you could never imagine. Be a positive person for your friends, your peers, and for random strangers.

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Be Kind to Everyone, Not Just Your Friends