It wasn’t until I started working with Think Kindness that I felt such a great impact about what kindness can really do. Growing up, there weren’t that many options of support for me as a kid. My family and relatives didn’t get along and often showed their disdain for each other. On top of that, all I knew was family for my whole life so when we decided to move I lost both cousins and good childhood friends. From that point on, my life wasn’t how I had envisioned it.
I didn’t think bullying would happen to me, but it did. I have experienced the ‘new kid in school’ effect since the beginning of 4th grade when a 6th grader yelled at me to “go back to my own country” as well as having my personal items stolen. I was picked on throughout my life until my senior year of high school.
But what hit me the most was when I was walking down the hallway of my high school. As I was coming closer to my locker, I found it wide open and a few of my items missing. I turned to see of the football players nonchalantly messing around with m stuff. I took it all back and slammed my locker shut. Later on that day I found out that a majority of the football team had begun using my locker as a trash bin. I was at a loss of what to do, some of the people I considered friends ignored the situation and left me to clean up the mess.
I was not aggravated, but rather lonely during that time. I did not feel I could talk to anyone about this. I tried to avoid the situation rather than confront it. Every time I saw some of the football players in class they would try to provoke me, making me cry. This treatment created some doubts in my life.
Why did I have to be one who was bullied and why didn’t I say anything about it? Even though I felt alone, I was not. A small group of friends helped me clean up my locker and we had it locked for good so the football players would no longer be able to throw trash in it. This one act of kindness actually changed my perspective into more positive one.
Think Kindness has truly helped me believe that performing small acts of kindness can change the world. I want kids to have what I did not: a kind atmosphere where they can fit in. The ’15 Day Kindness Challenge’ shows that it is possible. Whenever we go pick up shoes at the local middle schools just seeing how the youth react to donating shoes just
blows my mind. Think Kindness itself is a different organization because you feel welcomed and can be yourself. You are able to put your ideas out there when working on projects and you can see how impactful kindness is. It is one of the place I look forward to coming to because it is a positive place to be.
Marisa Lee is a 25 years old senior at UNR majoring in Community Health Science. She will be focusing her career as a pharmaceutical technician but always felt she could make a bigger impact on someone’s life. Think Kindness was the perfect place, not only because of its unique concept of anti-bullying but that the focus of kindness just has so much more meaning to it and is an amazing cause.