Nadler: A little kindness goes a long way

In light of tragic events on our campus, we should come together as a community to be more conscious of the people around us.


Zohar Nadler, Opinion Columnist

In lieu of the three local tragic deaths this past week, we must turn the adversity the UI community has experienced into empowerment. We must prioritize being kind people who are more mindful of those around us and recognize the sacredness of life that each individual has.

As competitive college students in a tech-driven era, it is extremely easy to get caught up in our own worlds — work, class, homework, student organizations, you name it. Despite our busy lives, we must remind ourselves to spread kindness and compassion to others. We should be cognizant of our words and the deep meaning they hold when shared with someone else.

Spreading goodwill to the person next to you in class, or the person checking you out at the IMU, or someone you haven’t spoken to much in your student organization isn’t that hard.

Spread altruism and understanding, because as Hawkeyes, we must look out for one another.

A small act of service holds deep significance. This can be anything from helping someone who dropped something, giving classmates next to you a pencil because they forgot theirs, or even showing appreciation for a professor whose lecture you enjoyed. After all, you never know what challenges the person beside you faces. An act of kindness by a stranger could lift people up when they need it most.

There seems to be a misconception that if you are “too kind” to others that you are weak, a pushover, and ultimately, it will get in the way of your success in a competitive culture. I invite Hawkeyes to challenge this misconception.

According to the National Alliance of Mental Health, practicing Loving-Kindness, a mindfulness exercise that entails sending distinctive kind intentions to different individuals, helps us cultivate an attitude of unconditional friendliness toward others. The alliance has research that indicates the more Loving-Kindness we spread to others, the more we realize the inherent connection we have. After all, what matters most in our lives is the quality relationships we hold with others.

More so, science-based benefits show that practicing Loving-Kindness reduces stress and self-criticism. It also decreases bias towards others, increases empathy, and improves social connectedness. To those reading this, I ask that you do a small act of kindness today and every day for someone in honor of the adversity our campus has faced.

Humanity relies on kindness for its prosperity and success. We must always remember the positive impact our words and actions can make. Let’s spread Loving-Kindness like we spread Hawkeye pride.