Kindness Can Make a Difference



What does this word mean to you? Why is it important to show kindness to others? What good does it do to show kindness to others? These are all questions that we have no brainer answers to. Kindness is the act of being generous, considerate, or doing something good with no expectation of being rewarded. It’s important to be kind as it improves the mood for you and those around you, makes you less stressed, etc., etc. The good kindness does is it’s contagious and we need more of it in the world. However, in this day and age, kindness is very limited. It is almost expected that every interaction may be one that will not be filled with kindness, but meanness or rudeness. I felt this was going to be the case when 5 of us State Officers from Kansas recently traveled to Costa Rica for ILSSO

During Orientation at the hotel for ILSSO, a video was shown to us about the perception of American tourists. Some of the perceptions were that we were too friendly, like we were fake, we are impatient, we are loud, and we are disrespectful. This video made me nervous about going and interacting with the people in Costa Rica. I thought that they were going to have this mindset of us being rude Americans and that the kindness would not be there. I had just made up my mind to try to break all of those stereotypes that we had just heard but yet I was still wondering how the experience was going to be. 

Fast forward to the end of the trip and I have come back home to friends and family. They all have asked me what my favorite part of ILSSO has been and every time I respond with it was the people of Costa Rica. The amount of kindness that we were shown by the people of Costa Rica was incredible. Our first real interaction was with our tour guides for the whole trip, Sergio and Josi. They were so welcoming and friendly. They kept that same energy for the entire trip while being some of the kindest people I have ever met. Every tour we went on, our guides were so kind and enthusiastic. They made us feel welcomed and got us invested in everything that they said. They encouraged us to get out of our comfort zones. They helped us live the Pura Vida lifestyle that they all lived. We were all in for getting surrounded by their culture. This was because they always showed kindness to us. Even strangers on the streets or in the hotels were always kind and shared a smile with you. My expectations for the trip were absolutely exceeded as not once did I have a bad interaction with anyone. 

As a country, I think we should look into how Costa Ricans live their lives. They are so happy and welcoming to everyone, making you feel right at home. Costa Rica is one of the happiest countries in the world, and that is because they spread kindness. Kindness can achieve many things in life. It can help others achieve their goals and great successes. I would not be here writing this blog without the kindness of so many people. My mom and dad, my judging coach Carla Nemecek, the administration and staff at Yates Center High School who stepped up so we could have FFA, those advisors who helped me run for STAR Farmer, Mrs. Gabbert and Mr. Griesel, and those advisors who stepped up and helped me run for state office, Mr. Gillespie, Mr. Zwahlen, and Mr. Wiley. All of those people have significantly shown me great kindness and helped me reach my goals. Their acts of kindness will never be forgotten by me as I will always try to pay the kindness forward. 

As I end this post, take a moment, and think about those who have helped you and shown you kindness. If you can think of anyone who has shown kindness, I want you to go ahead and pay it forward. Let us make this world a better place.