You can contribute almost anything you want to the world. And whether or not you believe the advertising from World Vision, you will have an impact and you will be responsible for the improvement or harm you cause (sounds threatening, it's actually just late at night and I can't find the butter for my hot cross bun). It’s a special situation to behold, but often perplexing, as we’re unsure what merit we’ll gain from embracing the deep philosophies of selflessness. Keyword: we.

Millenials are a bit self-centered. I’ll put my hand up as guilty for never actually wanting to have a conversation with an uber driver. It's exhausting to make small talk. I’ve also become buried in phone admin to avoid conversations with shop assistants, and I’ve definitely speed walked to avoid those pamphlet givers trying to seduce others to join their cult (or organization, whatever). We have our moments of glory, but we get snagged when the thought “how can I get ahead” champions all others in our mind. 

Generosity is never taught, it relies on us taking initiative individually, and well-wishing those who have a ‘natural’ propensity for it (I’ll eat this bag of Cheetos BY MYSELF thank you). It’s vaguely prioritized in bouts of motivation, but otherwise left on a dusty shelf in the garage for some random day of self-improvement years later. Yes, this is (a little bit) who we have become.

Maybe it should be taught. “Colleges should foster the growth of individuals who show promise not just in leadership and academics, but also in generosity of spirit,” said former admissions director, Mrs. Sabky, in an article for NY Times. She refers to a specific application, and how out it stood out among thousands like it – because the student was noted for consistent backstage acts of kindness, such as cleaning up after fellow students, thanking the janitor, and always turning the lights off. 

Maybe this is the golden egg to ‘getting ahead.’ We’re dashing around to become better educated, better inspired, better motivated, but there might be a time slot (available soon!) to become better people. Sabky writes of her own son: “Whether or not he even decides to go to college when the time is right, I want him to resemble a person thoughtful enough to return a granola bar, and gracious enough to respect every person in his community.”

To become kinder and more generous requires a shift in thinking, to ponder less the needs of yourself (make sure they’re being met obviously), and think more about blessing the person sat next to you. It’s the awkward pause that happens when you complain about never finding a more perfect man, how they’re all rubbish, and your mom says to you: “well when are you going to start acting like a more perfect lady?” IDK??? When I’ve finished this bag of sour gummis?!

Maya Angelou once said: “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” If people are the second most important thing to love (God being this first), there’s a market failure occurring if we’re only considering the wellbeing of ourselves. Kindness is not a distant concept that can only be won by interrupting your grocery shop to help the elderly cross the road, a gladdening possibility, but not the only outlet of generosity. Kindness is more of an attitude, which changes our behavior and the motive behind our efforts. No act is too small and a positive difference is better than a negative one, or even worse, none at all. 

Madison x


  1. I feel like it's more difficult to come across kind people nowadays and when I do, it definitely makes my day! So, I try my best to be nice to everyone because we need more of that in the world. Nice post!

  2. Your posts are cool. I did one post too, but i don't think it will grow. But i wish you luck!

  3. Loved reading this post. People are so caught up with themselves, we forget about the people around us and it's sad to but I am trying to make more of an effort to be aware of the people around me and be kinder.

    The Beauty Load

  4. This post is everything. Being kind is something that I try to be but fail at doing constantly, with no valid excuses. I loved everything about this post! Your voice and perspective are seriously lovely.


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