Podcast: A little bit of kindness can go a long way
Phillip Leung: Hello my name is Phillip Leung, opinion editor for WHS Publications
Brian Chen: Hello my name is Brian Chen, opinion editor for WHS Publications. Today we’re going to talk about how a little bit of kindness can go a long way.
Chen: First question: What would you define kindness as?
Leung: To me, kindness is based off of morals and these morals define who we are. Caring for others, putting others’ needs in front of your own and taking care of yourself are all examples of what I think kindness represents.
Chen: I would define kindness as helping others feel good. It’s about being genuine, non-manipulative, generous and selfless. The definition will vary with everyone, though.
Leung: So what are some everyday situations where you can apply kindness?
Chen: There’s not one set mentality you can go through your day with — it has to be sporadic.
For example, last week, I helped a guy jump start his car. It took 3 minutes but he treated me like I was god sent. I guess I made his day and funnily enough, seeing how happy he was, that whole situation made my day. So I don’t actually think you should wake up and say: I’m going to be kind today! It has to be something that you recognize on a day-to-day setting and seeing who you can help out.
Leung: For me, kindness can be applied in almost every situation of a student’s day. For example, greeting each of your teachers at the beginning of class gives teachers a feeling of being acknowledged. It establishes a healthy relationship between a student and teacher. If your friend is carrying a load of textbooks, helping them carry some would be a great thing to do. Perhaps someone might have multiple tests that day and is stressing out. Providing some words of encouragement would go a long way. In your home, helping your parents carry the groceries in or helping them cook a meal all show your kindness.
Chen: Going off of that… How much kindness should we exhibit towards others? Obviously we can’t be kind and perfect people 24/7.
Leung: You don’t have to go above and beyond when expressing your kindness. It’s the small, subtle things that matter. Things like the reassuring glance directed toward your friend who is about to give a presentation or following along while your teacher is talking. All these factors are acknowledged. They give both you and the person you directed your kindness toward a sense of warm, satisfaction. Like I said, it’s the little things that matter–a little bit of kindness can go a long way.
Chen: I think we should be as kind to each other as possible. When we get treated with kindness, we feel happy, excited, loved. That makes us, in turn, feel inclined to be kind to others. There are definitely people who don’t feel the same way as us; they get pleasure by putting others down. But I think if there are enough positive people in the world, we’ll be able to make society positive in general. So my answer: as kind as we can.
Leung: So do you think there such thing as too much kindness?
Chen: To a certain extent, yeah. You need to look after yourself. But if it takes 5 minutes out of your day to make someone else’s day, why not just do it?
Leung: Yes, there can be too much kindness. sometimes it’s more of a detriment to yourself. Sometimes, you are wrapped too tightly around the state of caring or providing for others, you neglect your own needs (such as forgetting to eat or helping your friend edit their essay when you haven’t completed your own yet).
Chen: Biggest takeaway here?
Leung: The smallest bit of kindness can go a long way.
This has been an opinion podcast by WHS Hoofprint. Have a good one!
By Brian Chen and Phillip Leung, Opinion editors
Audio edited by Eunice Lin