Opinion

Persistence, hard work can lead to kindness

In the hustle and bustle of modern life, we often get caught up in ourselves and lose track of those around us. Work, classes and other obligations take up huge chunks of our time.
In this omnipresent struggle to find out who we are, we also try as hard as possible to tune out the things that make life difficult. While we juggle everything going on in our own lives, we often find it challenging to improve the lives of others. At least I do.
Somehow, some people manage to do it despite the pressures of their upbringing, finances and circumstances. Kindness is a special quality.
Whether you’re helping an old lady cross the street, donating money to charity, or doing something in between, being nice encompasses a wide variety of benevolent actions.
However, being kind goes a step further than being nice. To be kind is to invest a part of yourself in the act of magnanimity, to do something nice for someone because you meant to help that person. When you’re kind, you do nice things without the expectation of reward.
Don’t get me wrong, it is important to be nice to people, but being nice by itself is unfulfilling. It is shallow and reinforced by some sort of external gratification like praise or a reward. Kindness is niceness internalized. It is the state of mind in which you’re nice for the sake of being nice as part of some internal code that tells you that you’re doing the right thing.
Anybody can be kind, but fewer people have achieved this unconventional state of mind. Though I don’t think it’s particularly difficult to think this way, I do find it challenging to think outside myself on a consistent basis.
That is the secret to its rarity. I think defeatism and fear need to be conquered before this philosophy becomes something visceral and something attainable. Through hard work, persistence and a genuine passion for others, anyone can be truly kind.

Andrew Blitman is a senior majoring in marine affairs and biology.

April 12, 2012

Reporters

Andrew Blitman

Science Columnist


Around the Web

The University of Miami community is invited to participate in several events to discuss crucial topics regarding social justice and racial equality, explored in Ijeoma Oluo’s best-seller. ...

University writing experts weigh in on the inaugural poem, written and recited by Amanda Gorman, a 22-year-old U.S. youth poet laureate. ...

The number of ambassadors has been increased from 75 to 100 as the University continues to support a safe environment and help students adhere to COVID-19 guidelines. ...

The series—which will feature experts discussing their groundbreaking research on corals, ocean and atmospheric science, and how climate change is forcing communities to alter their long-range plans—will begin this week. ...

Octavia Bridges—a 20-year veteran of the University of Miami Police Department and the first Black woman to serve as a lieutenant—has been promoted to oversee crime prevention and community relations on the Coral Gables Campus. ...

TMH Twitter
About Us

The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Florida. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published in print every Tuesday.