In the article, “Reactions to random acts of kindness,” published in the Social Science Journal on April 1, 2000, Kim Baskerville and her colleagues define random acts of kindness as, “Something that someone does for an unknown other that they hope will benefit the individual.”
These actions could be as simple as holding the door open for someone or offering to help carry something. Kindness comes best in small packages. Millersville students incorporate these acts every day.
When asked about random acts of kindness on Facebook and Instagram, many students mentioned that Marauders display such actions every day. They try to hold the door open for people and thank others when they do it for them. Sara Heavner, a freshman, said, “Everyone on campus is so friendly!”
Heavner also said that she tries to pick up cans from around campus to reduce the amount of garbage sitting around. Heavner said that in her experience people are very willing to lend a hand. Her dorm neighbor showed her how to do laundry on campus and people are always offering to help carry belongings out to her car. These small gestures stood out to her and impacted her impression of Millersville students.
Mackenzie Nealen said that she tries to help other people in her classes by sharing study guides. Nealen explains that while a study guide may seem small, even small things can help someone get a better grade or understand a concept. Sharing information and taking time to help can not only improve someone else’s grade, but also your own. Nealen said she tries to compliment people on campus when she sees them.
Even an “I really like your t-shirt” or “your hair looks nice today” can make a positive impact on someone’s day. Everyone likes to be complimented so why not compliment each other more often. Many times on campus students will hear these compliments and it is a nice feeling to have someone make a positive comment no matter how small. Often times small things are more meaningful.
Taking time to listen to friends and to help them where they can is another important act of kindness students mentioned. Every MU student needs someone to listen to. Taking five minutes to help a friend out is a great way to give back and also support kindness. It may not always be random, but it is just as important. Helping others does not have to be difficult, but it can be supporting your friends through a difficult time or offering to listen when life is stressful. Any small action could be an act of kindness is someone else’s life.
As a campus and community, it is important to support each other and offer small acts of kindness when we can. Even smiling at someone or saying “hi” in passing can make a difference in someone’s day. Every moment is a chance to be kind to others and share positivity with our Marauder family. Giving back is one of the most amazing things we can do for others. Offer someone a compliment, smile, or listen to a friend that needs support.
It is important to remember that everyone is fighting their own battles, and often we do not know what they are. As a community and campus, we should strive to be kind to all those we meet, and try to contribute a random act of kindness daily. Ask not what to do for yourself, but what we can do for others to make not only our campus but our world a better place.