An Open Letter About Living a Life of Kindness

To college girls everywhere,

I have a note in my phone that I’ve been working on for the last couple of months of the life lessons I’ve learned so far during my short 18 years. (I’m cheesy and sentimental like that.) The first one on the list is the one I believe in most whole-heartedly: “Be genuinely kind. Even when it’s easier to be cruel. Make it second nature and watch all of the good it brings.” I may not be an expert on social psychology or some magical knowledge about the right way to live your life, but I believe that every one of us should aim to live a life centered around kindness.

We will all meet someone in life that we can’t get along with. They put you in a situation where you would rather scream and fight than listen to their ideas. Or maybe you’re in a situation where someone is simply being an a-hole to you for no reason (cue montage of every mean girl from our childhood movies). It may seem so easy to lash out and “do unto them what they would have done unto you.” But I’d like to tell you that choosing to be kind instead of rude and petty is not a weakness, but your greatest strength. Kindness doesn’t stop you from standing up for yourself: it just gives you options other than attack.

Obviously, this isn’t the only time that you should incorporate kindness into your life and it can be found in everything you do. I’m part of a program called Life Vest Inside as a Kindness Ambassador. Every week we are given a task that spreads kindness somewhere around us. They’re simple tasks that are easy to implement in your daily life, like sharing your favorite song or having a conversation with someone new. (It’s super easy and free to sign up online!)

Once you find the momentum of kindness it becomes second nature. It will be easy to face situations with a kinder mindset and spread that positive mindset, too. Kindness is a cycle and soon it will come back to you (good karma is a thing, too!). We all love to watch cat fights and backstabbing on reality TV (or this election season), but in real life that mean behavior doesn’t lead to a happy life. Kindness, whether it’s your actions or another’s, is the purest and easiest thing to do. Kindness is free to give (broke college kid problems) but it is the most rewarding thing you can do.


by Allie Lewandowski