Columnist believes that people are born to be kind

By Josie Stewart, ’21

While at dinner with my family, my dad and I hold conversations aside from my
siblings. Usually, we both disrupt the entire restaurant by banging
on the tables in uncontrollable laughter, only this time it was my
dad flailing in tears.

He had been telling me a story after I was complaining about who knows what reminding me not to complain—which I plaintively put aside—until I noticed the tears in his eyes.

He told me that his life had been changed the day before.

The story was about a Special Olympics basketball game that he attended. There was a boy who struggled to compete with the speed and skill of the other kids, left alone on one side of the court while the others dribbled and shot around him. Another boy, who my dad described as the MVP of the team, stopped on the left side of the court and simply handed the ball over to the one who struggled.

He shot. He missed. And the boy rebounded it and handed it back to the same boy who shot and missed several times afterward. The other team took the ball, but rather than running it down the court, they handed it back to the boy until he was able to score.

My dad told me that after watching the game, he hated how much he complained.

Kids in gym class keep the ball from a specific kid and terrorize the kids who can’t keep up, and yet, the children in the Special Olympics game helped one another.

It was then that I truly started to believe that people are born to be kind. We are born to help one another and taught how to hate.

These kids, who have more to complain about than anyone, do not and did not take it out on anyone else because all they know is love.

Since then, I started to realize how much I complain when I could be helping others. I was so worried about writing this piece because no one is perfect and I am not always kind.

But I try. And I thoroughly believe that that’s all that matters because we are trying not to teach hate to those below you, but continue the culture of helping others.

And so, I pass on this generic reminder to be kind to others but with encouragement to think about it differently. To remind yourself that people will be kind as that is how they are born and
that you will make mistakes, but if you pass the ball on, life will be more positive for yourself and the rest of your team.