When Did We Stop Being Kind?
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Politics and Activism

When Did We Stop Being Kind?

"Treat others the way you want to be treated" is a simple but effective idea.

When Did We Stop Being Kind?
Urban Muses

Sometimes I think back and wonder, at what age did we learn to be anything but kind? As little kindergarteners, we were kind to each other regardless of skin color, religion, wealth, or personality. We learned the golden rules "treat others the way you want to be treated" and "if you have nothing nice to say, don't say anything at all." The "bad" words were "stupid" and "I hate."

When did we change? When did we stop looking at other human beings just as that -- human? Not one person is like another, and somehow that makes us indifferent, cold, and bitter towards others. Why?

I remember a girl in fourth grade sang the song "White and Nerdy" by Weird Al Yankovich in my face sometimes. I didn't quite understand racism yet at that time, so someone had to tell me she was making fun of my being white. Why? It was just funny to her. I never thought of acting differently toward someone because of their skin. I wasn't raised like that.

Around middle school is when we were exposed to the real-world stuff, but we didn't quite understand it yet: politics, relationships, war, and the economy. I remember someone telling me for the first time someone was a s*ut. This girl kissed two different guys in a week (middle school was crazy), but I didn't know what that word meant. When I learned what it was, I still didn't understand why it was OK to call someone names because they were different.

When we were old enough to learn about political ideology and where we stand, it felt like friends started to turn against each other. I will never understand why we can't get along with people who don't share all the same beliefs as us. We just shouldn't talk about it, and if we are going to then we should be civilized about it and open to hearing differences. What ruins that is when someone becomes personally offended or straight up tells someone that they are wrong. That is when it becomes impossible to live peacefully.

John McCain was at a rally for his 2008 presidential campaign, and a woman speaking called Barack Obama an Arab. McCain took the microphone away from her and said: "No, ma'am, he's a decent family man, a citizen, that I just happen to have disagreements with on fundamental issues. That's what this campaign is all about."

Why can't we all follow the example of John McCain? He defended the man he was running against for the presidency. Why can't we respect those who are not of the same religion, political ideology, or culture as us? We have different goals, different ideas, different solutions. Why can't we agree that we disagree and move on?

In the movie "That's What I Am" (2011), a teacher, Mr. Simon, won a new car in a newspaper contest that asked to give a solution for world peace in 25 words or less. He did it with just four. He wrote it on the board for his students to see:

"Human Dignity + Compassion = Peace"

We will never achieve peace unless we suck up our pride and are compassionate to every human being. It starts with you and me. We have to start looking at other people as we did when we were children, human, like us. Not looking at how we are different, but how we are the same.

"Kill them with kindness" is my favorite piece of advice to give. If we let what other people say bother us and combat with them, peace will never be achieved. Chin up and be kind, no matter how much you have to bite your tongue because they will only learn from your example.

So throw it back to kindergarten and remember the golden rules: "treat others the way you want to be treated" and "if you have nothing nice to say, don't say anything at all." Even if someone isn't treating you kindly or saying things they shouldn't, it starts with you to make kindness a trend.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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