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World Kindness Day creates opportunity for goodwill

With the end of the semester quickly approaching, incentives for Ohio University students to spread joy are everywhere. World Kindness Day, which falls on Monday, Nov. 13 of this year, is a time for students to reflect on the acts of kindness they give and receive. 

According to Save the Children, the World Kindness Movement launched World Kindness Day in 1998. The mission of the World Kindness Movement, or WKM, is to “inspire individuals and connect nations to create a kinder world.”  

For Anna Schneider, a freshman studying media arts production, kindness is a ripple effect of goodness.

“Kindness is very important to me,” Schneider said. “I try my best every single day to try and be a good person because of karma, and if you're not a good person, the world's not going to treat you right.” 

The discussion of kindness among college students is instrumental in recognizing whether or not the campus environment is one students find inviting. As World Kindness Day allows, students are able to reflect on the energy around campus. 

“I feel a lot of kindness,” said Schneider. “I haven't felt uncomfortable on campus or anything.”

As a freshman, Schneider said she feels like she has created connections around campus.

“I've gotten to the point that I start to notice people and see people that I recognize around campus all the time, and so we wave at each other, and just kind of give a good nod of like, ‘Hey, I know you and you know me. Do I know your name? Absolutely not. But I know you,’'’ she said. 

When it comes to those who have demonstrated what it means to be kind to students, Luca Gee, a freshman studying art history, remembers the support their teachers have provided in times of adversity. 

“In high school and in college, my teachers were always where I lucked out,” Gee said. “I went through a lot in high school, my mom got sick, and the amount of kindness that my teachers specifically showed me made it so much better.”

Gee said it was their teachers’ sense of understanding that made the differences in their days.

“Because I would be late to school every day, like every day consistently, and my teachers would just be so understanding and so kind,” they said. “So, shoutout to my teachers.”

From protests to exam season approaching, there has been an unspoken amount of stress and hate added to the backs of OU students. But, World Kindness Day can help to remind society by coming together, more joy can be added to each other’s lives. 

“Even if there are people who are unkind, like when there's protesters on the green, people still make an effort to drown them out and make sure to not spread hate,” said Gee. 

For Catie Perez, a junior studying studio art, kindness is more than just helping others in order to feel good about ourselves. 

“I think kindness is more than empty philanthropy,” said Perez. “I think it's recognizing the needs of the people around you and acting in accordance with those in a way that betters the community as well as yourself.”

When choosing to be kind to other OU students, there is no limit to the amount of good karma those actions can have. There are many stressors, other than academics, that could lead any student to feel discouraged. So by being kind to everyone, there is the possibility of making someone's day. 

“The 18-to-25 demographic has some of the most debt in this country, and oftentimes their parents were like, ‘you're 18 and you need to get the hell out now,’” said Perez. “So I think it's really important to recognize that and maybe be easier on people when they're juggling things that they have never juggled before.”

Many students find that the best way to see kindness is by looking for it in the little things. While walking on Court Street, while in a lecture hall or maybe while sitting on College Green, acts of kindness are everywhere.

“I see a lot of, not to be cliche, but a lot of happy kids and families,” said Perez. “Sometimes I stop and pet people's dogs and they'll ask me how I'm doing. So I think there's just little pieces of positivity and positive interactions between people who are really different that warms my heart.”

Gee encouraged everyone to remember there is always someone there for them, even before and after World Kindness Day.

“I promise you that you're not alone,” said Gee. “Everyone's going through it, even if it's different. Don't be afraid to talk to people, because I guarantee that someone can at least understand what you're going through. No man is an island.”


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