Kyle’s Column: The power of kindness


In the latest installment of Kyle’s Column, WSPN’s Opinions Editor Kyle Chen reflects upon the lessons that come with having a cold.

Kyle Chen

With Thanksgiving just around the corner, people everywhere are taking time out of their everyday lives to appreciate and be thankful for all the good things in life.

Personally, I myself have a lot to be thankful for. I have a loving and caring family, access to fantastic opportunities and resources here at Wayland High School and even smaller things, like the fact that I can eat three meals a day and that I can get clean, drinkable water at the turn of a handle.

But this year, there is one thing that I am particularly thankful for: the very supportive atmosphere here at WHS, and the people in our community who go out of their way to be kind to others.

I encountered one such person last Thursday afternoon. It was fifth-period and I was spending a free in one of the cubicles in the media center, working on my chapter summary for music theory. I was having a tough time concentrating because I couldn’t stop thinking about something a close friend of mine had told me the night before, how he had been talking with a group of people when someone in the group had started bad-mouthing me to everyone there, dissing me behind my back. It had shaken me up pretty bad, especially because I had never expected that person to do such a thing.

I was in the middle of half-heartedly defining what fifth-species counterpoint was when a boy in my grade came up to my cubicle, plopping down into the chair beside me. He and I had never been very close friends, and I knew him kind of just as an acquaintance at best. So I was pretty surprised when he put a hand on my arm and asked me kindly how I was doing. He told me that while talking with some other people he had heard about what the person said.

“I just wanted to check in to see how you were doing,” he said. “I didn’t think that person would do something like that either, but don’t let it bother you too much. This kind of thing happens to the best of us.”

He went on to tell a story about a situation he had gotten involved in that was very similar to mine. It was really touching – here was this guy I barely knew, hadn’t really talked with much before, and he was revealing things about himself that you don’t typically share with people you don’t know well, just to make me feel better.

He wrapped up his speech and gave me another pat on the arm, murmuring a few final words of encouragement as he smiled and got up, leaving to go talk to a group of his friends who were waiting for him outside the library. I sat there for another minute, thinking about what he had just done. It was so kind, so sensitive, that I can’t even put into words the overwhelming sense of gratitude that ballooned in my chest.

That small act of kindness he made had a huge impact on me. I had gone to bed the night before with a heavy feeling in my heart, and I had carried that weight in me the whole day – until this kid that I barely even knew came over and took the time to offer a few words of comfort. For me, this incident, however insignificant and trivial, shows how impactful kindness can be – even just something as simple as holding the door or offering a compliment can go a long way.

Opinion articles written by staff members represent their personal views. The opinions expressed do not necessarily represent WSPN as a publication.