This archived article was written by: Katrina Wood
I’m letting you know right off the bat: you rock. Regardless of what anyone says or thinks, you have enormous potential. The world is a better place because of you.
I want everyone who reads this to acknowledge this. Let your friends and family know they are wanted. Let them know they are loved. Tell them that their contribution makes a difference and you are thankful for them and what they do, but don’t stop there. If you read this article, I’m not just expecting you to be nice to people you like. I expect you to treat everyone with respect. And by everyone, I mean everyone.
The kid who messed up your order at Wendys? Be kind. The classmate who won’t stop talking during the lecture? Don’t yell. The instructor you can’t see eye to eye with? Treat them like a human being. Don’t get angry, and don’t resort to harsh words. Don’t call them something you would never want to be called. Never forget there are pieces of them you can’t see, characteristics you know nothing about and situations you don’t understand.
In my life, I have discovered time and time again that those I look up to and admire most generally think little of themselves. They treat themselves to be average or far below. More often than not, they hide the troubles they’re experiencing. When emotional turmoil and pain strikes, they close themselves off. Too often, I’ve seen people I think the world of write themselves off as worthless and alone.
With this being said, you cannot and should not rely on rudeness in life. You can’t treat others like they’re worse than you, like they’re less than human because there’s something you can do that they can’t. You simply cannot resort to unkind behavior and words. In the words of Dieter F. Uchtdorf, “There is enough heartache and sorrow in this life without our adding to it through our own stubbornness, bitterness and resentment.”
Why, with every bad day, with every negative experience, with every heartbreak, do we feel the right to be cruel? Why do we feel the right to tell someone they aren’t worth it, that they aren’t wanted? For what reason do we feel that hurting someone is acceptable in any way, shape or form?
The simple fact is it’s not okay to treat someone like that. Even if it’s a passing remark, there is no justification to being rude. Realize that everyone, whether you like them or not, has something to offer, and then treat them as such. Smile and be kind to them. Love everyone, even if you don’t like them. And then, after that has been accomplished, love yourself.
Don’t under any circumstance belittle or degrade yourself. Treat yourself as if you’re the coolest kid on campus. Laugh at your own dumb puns and jokes, and celebrate your accomplishments. No matter what happens in life, no matter how down you get, remember these simple, yet inspiring words: you rock.
I know that all this may sound a bit silly. I know that being confident and happy with yourself appears simple. I get that it sounds like something that should be promoted at junior highs and high schools. And yes, I understand that it seems like something we as college students should already excel. But the truth is that anxiety, insecurity and uncertainty don’t end when you turn into an adult.
For some, it grows, festers and consumes. For a few, it feels impossible to escape. For a handful, it becomes their whole world.
Yet in spite of how these people feel, it is essential to remember that they are not alone. All of us have something we can do to build each other up. We can smile, chat with them, sit by them in class, help them carry their books, anything. It can be a small act, something you might never think of again, but it will make a difference. To someone who feels as if no one cares, it will mean more than you may ever understand, and that by itself makes it all worth it.