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The leadership class attended a workshop on kindness at their annual Los Angeles Conference.

The leadership class attended a workshop on kindness at their annual Los Angeles Conference.

Special to the Sentinel

Special to the Sentinel

The leadership class attended a workshop on kindness at their annual Los Angeles Conference.

#MakeKindnessNormal, a lesson for humanity

April 18, 2017

Anyone can be nice. Yesterday, I held the door open for a campus supervisor as the cold air hit my skin. But I didn’t mind; I wanted to be nice.

The difference between being nice and being kind is an entirely different ballpark. Kindness must be practiced, executed and shared. Kindness makes a difference and I wish kindness was normal.

As I entered the conference room at Universal Studios, for Leadership’s annual Los Angeles conference on Jan. 27, I was exhausted. I wanted to sleep, I wanted to go home, and I surely didn’t want to listen and talk to strangers for two hours. Little did I know, these two hours would become my favorite two hours of my four-day-long trip.

Our speaker was Houston Kraft and his ultimate goal is to make kindness normal. He told me that everyone deserves love, even when love is hard to give. This idea resonated deeply with me, as there are people in my life who I find it hard to show love to. There are people in my life who I will not show love to. But Houston told me that everyone is deserving of love. He said the people that we find hardest to love, are those who need it most.

I met a girl named Nirjana at the conference. She greeted me with the brightest smile; she looked so happy. I later learned how terrible her family life was. She made it seem like her family life was nonexistent, yet she radiated kindness. She told me about her aspirations and goals to attend UC Berkeley and I naturally assumed she was a senior. I later learned she was only 15 years old, a sophomore. This girl had her goals for the future, despite her absent family.

Houston Kraft’s message is “Make Kindness Normal.” There are simple acts of kindness that everyone can do to contribute to this goal. He talked about different levels of compliments, each harder to give and more meaningful to the receiver. He labeled them as “5, 10 and 20-pound” compliments.

Giving a “5-pound” compliment is easy and barely brushes the surface. “I like your shirt because it reminds me of nature and I love nature.” Easy, right? “10-pound” compliments are harder and “20-pound” compliments are the most challenging. “You are beautiful inside and out and I believe you will succeed. You are intelligent and strong.” Harder, right?

I challenge you to give three different people a compliment today. You never know the impact that one simple compliment can bring someone. Let’s make kindness normal.

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