Whether it’s the passing smile of a stranger or the comforting hug of a friend, we’ve all experienced little moments of kindness that brighten our days. On the Stanford campus, it’s these simple acts that foster an atmosphere of community and support. Chyna Mays ‘21 names receiving “free pizza and Gushers from upperclassmen during Admit Weekend” as the moment she felt truly at home.
For some, kindness is helping a classmate understand a concept or striking up a conversation with a new person. Others encounter kindness through notes of encouragement from roommates and activities with their dorm. The ways that this compassion pervades the Stanford campus are infinite.
But what do these simple acts of kindness amount to? Shawn Filer ‘21 describes it as that extra “oomph.” It allows us to move beyond just ourselves and our busy everyday routines to reach out to one another. On a hectic campus like Stanford, those seconds where we stop to just look around and appreciate one another and life are definitely special. The best part is that kindness is pretty effortless. On days when we’re feeling down and tired as hell, a random act of kindness from a stranger may just be what we need to lift our spirits.
A community of kindness can also cultivate an environment where it’s okay to not be okay all the time. Instead of pretending to be happy and positive 24/7, we can choose to be real and to be there for each other in simple ways. Kindness can open us up to new friendships, experiences and lessons of life. It’s something we can all partake in, regardless of our differences. So I invite you all to take on a lifestyle of kindness and make our campus more of a community. I’ve even heard that one act of kindness a day can keep the doctor away!
Contact Ayushi Tandel at atandel ‘at’ stanford.edu.