Growing up, I felt as though we all experienced the notion of being ostracized for being 'soft'. Those who cried were gentle. Or wholeheartedly nice people were made fun of for being weird. Developing in this world was far from easy.

As a teenager, I learned to react rudely and to be harsh to the world around me. I became friends with others who spread hateful ideas, and I looked down on those who showed kindness in their everyday activities.

I thought that this was the only way to thrive. Being a negative person became a way of life.

I became the optimal pessimist. I thought the world around me was terrible, and I tried to mold myself after the disgust I had for my surroundings.

I gravitated toward those who also treated every action as a curse, who also felt as though the world was against them. Soon enough, I began to feel this way too. Being angry and sad all the time made me into a person I didn't even recognize. Eventually, I realized that enough was enough.

I learned the power of looking on the bright side of things, and I discovered how freeing being kind was.

Although I still acknowledged that there were many unfair and cruel aspects of the world around me, I accepted the notion that there was little I could do to change them. Many of the things I despised were out of my control, and I found that focusing my energy on ways to make my life (and the lives of those around me) better was the way to feel fulfilled.

This led me to realize how crucial it is for us to show kindness in our every action. Far too many individuals feel as though they need to be angry, catty or cruel to others in order to succeed. They pick on insecurities, bully and make rash decisions out of jealousy and hate. However, what these individuals fail to realize is how amazing it is to be soft.

To them, kindness is something reserved for family parties, and for the few people they call friends. They refuse to be anything more than decent around others, if they are decent at all.

In high school, especially, children feel as though they need to be terrible and childish to "prove" something. But being gentle and bright is the only way to be successful in this world.

Although it is impossible to be a ball of sunshine 24/7, it is essential to be nice. Thinking of ways you can be a better soul, smiling at others or simply just thinking positively are some of the most freeing things to do.

Our world is far too full of evil and hate, so being a beacon of light is how we can show our strength. Although it may sound cheesy, it couldn't be truer.

Being 'soft' is an asset. Being kind and warm not only makes your life more enjoyable, but it makes the world around you better too. This is not to say you have to become completely altruistic, but ensuring almost every action you take part in is backed with positive energy is how to be strong in today's world.

So, from one "softie" to the next, keep showing your strength.