The Underrated Concept of Kindness

It was a cold Friday morning. I woke up very late, forgetting that I had a morning lecture. 

My lecture was to hold by 8:00 am, but I found myself struggling to beat the long queue of students waiting to fetch bathing water. 

After waiting for minutes, it finally reached my turn, and I rushed to take my bath. 

With no time to adorn myself with a suitable Jummah attire, I jumped into a palazzo and donned my big hijab.

I was about to take my breakfast-cereal when my sister screamed, “it’s 7:54 am”. I dropped my breakfast and rushed to wear my sandals. 

Feeling sad and disorganized, I grabbed my backpack and rushed out of the hostel. 

It was already 7:56 am. Thus, trekking to my faculty was pointless, as it is miles away from my hostel.

I scurried to the hostel mart to board a bike, but none was in sight. 

Tears rolled down my face when I remembered I won’t be allowed into the lecture hall once it’s 8:05 am, and lest the lecturer gives a continuous assessment (CA). 

Transfixed, I walked down a bit, praying for luck. Alas! It did find me. 

A young lady I do not know was also waiting to board a bike. She was the first to sight an oncoming one, and she flagged it down. 

They agreed on a price, and as they made to take off, she called out, “Wait! Sister come”. Not knowing why she called, I approached her.

“Are you going towards the Faculty of Law?” she asked.

I replied in affirmation, and she said, “I’m going in the same direction. Let’s take the bike together”. Full of gratitude, I hopped onto the bike quickly, and we were soon at my faculty. I dropped off, asking how much was my burden of the fare. She smiled and replied, “No, sister. Have a nice day.” They left before I could even say thanks. 

I checked my wristwatch, and it was 8:04 am. Dashing into the faculty, I realized I was the 5th person to arrive for the lecture. 

Throughout the day, I felt happy. 

I remembered the young lady I couldn’t even thank properly for her kind gesture when it mattered most and promised myself to pay back to another person. 

Her kindness towards me made me feel connected.

If I asked about the last time we gave or experienced kindness, I’m sure that, just like me, we would have many stories of when we felt moved, loved, protected and seen.

Kindness is such an underrated concept that we can’t exaggerate its essence on our mental health and society.

It is a cornerstone of our individual and collective mental health. 

Kindness is the act of doing something towards yourself and others, motivated by a genuine desire to make a positive difference. 

It is having a benevolent, courteous, friendly, generous, gentle, liberal, sympathetic, or warm-hearted nature or disposition, marked by consideration for – and service to others.

Kindness is an antidote to isolation, depression and loneliness, as it creates a sense of belonging. It reduces stress, strengthens self-esteem, deepens relationships, heals wounds and also deepens solidarity in our society. 

Wisdom from cultures across history identifies kindness as something humans need to experience and practice because of its singular ability to unlock our shared humanity. 

Kindness doesn’t differentiate between gender, age, nature or status.

The rich and young can be kind to the poor and the aged, and vice versa. 

Kindness shouldn’t necessarily be towards humans; we can show it to animals and plants.

Although kindness, sometimes, can be a risky endeavour that can lead to us looking foolish or being taken advantage of, often making us retreat. To give or receive kindness is an act of courage.

A single act of kindness can birth manifolds. 

A reciprocal of the simple act of sharing our umbrellas under the rain or sun can visit in folds when we’re in need. 

The simple act of smiling at a young child-beggar might ignite hope and goals in him. 

The kind words that we say might save the life of an individual who loathes his life.

The gracious gestures that we make are the light of someone’s day.

Therefore, in a world where we can be anything, we should be kind. 

We all desire a world where we can receive and give kindness. And “we should be the change we wish to see”, as Mahatma Gandhi said. 

Remember, your mental health is also your wealth. Keep your dealings healthy! 

Please drop your questions in our comment section, and we’ll address them in the next edition. 


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