There is a quote by William Becker that states, “Your greatness is measured by your kindness; your education and intellect by your modesty; your ignorance is betrayed by your suspicions and prejudices, and your real caliber is measured by the consideration and tolerance you have for others.”
In many ways every part of the quote has to do with the college experience and what we should strive to learn and achieve while we are at college. However, during the I Heart NIU Campaign and with Valentine’s Day around the corner, it is easy to lose sight of those random acts of kindness that increase happiness.
Personally, I know that I get caught up with school, work, homework, and all the other things that take precedence in my college life. Sometimes I can get side tracked. I think that to make an impact or help someone I need to do big things. Rather, it’s simple random acts of kindness like holding a door, listening to a friend in need, a hug , that truly make an impact.
I try to do random acts of kindness like the ones mentioned above. Paying someone a compliment, a smile, or giving my friend money for the vending machine. Yet, I remember more the random acts of kindness that have been paid to me. Friends have bought me dinner, cheered me up, have given me compliments, tutored me.
One experience that I have had at NIU has made an unforgettable mark on me. My freshman year I participated on a Huskie Alternative Breaks trip to Florida. At this location we worked with terminally ill children at Give Kids the World. At this location children and their families received free week trip, stayed in a bungalow style home, played at Give Kids the World and saw other tourist locations for free. At this location I worked as a food server, lifeguard, carousel operator. To me, not the most amazing type of volunteering activities. Yet, constantly parents would come up to me and the other volunteers and thank us for small things. For giving their child extra food, picking up a dropped toy, just small random things that I definitely overlooked. However, these parents never overlooked these acts of kindness.
It’s true that the smallest acts of kindness can have the biggest effects on another.