Challenge Extended

In a world where information can travel in seconds the power of our words, spoken or written, is more poignant than ever. As college students, we are at the cusp of taking this world on and making it our own. We get to choose to be whatever we want to be. In a few short years we will be the ones calling the shots. We will be the ones in law enforcement, teaching in schools, caring for the sick and leading politics. We will be the ones leading, making new laws, enforcing new policies and being the people that younger generations look up to. With this great world at our finger tips it’s time to think about what we want to do in it.

As a senior, I only have a short few months left in the safety bubble of college before it’s my turn to take the baton of leadership. Needless to say, my future has been on my mind a lot lately! I’m a theatre major with dreams of making it on Broadway or starring in a tv show. I’m also a psychology minor and plan to go to graduate school one day and become a school counselor. Although both of these things excite me to no end, there’s one other aspect of myself that I can’t wait to fully tap into. I’m a motivational speaker with a specialty in suicide prevention and last year I gave my first professional talk in which I spoke about the power of kindness and compassion in the world. I brought up a quote that I try to live my life by.

“I have this theory that if one person went out of their way to show compassion to another, it would start a chain reaction” ~ Rachel Joy Scott. It seems so simple right? A smile, hold the door open. I challenged the audience from my speech to try it out. Say hi to the custodial staff, instead of staring at your phone when you’re walking in the halls smile at someone. Simple acts of kindness can make the biggest difference in the life of someone who’s struggling. Often times, all it takes is a smile to show someone that they are seen, noticed, matter. A small act of kindness can change someone’s life.

Now more than ever we have this power to change a life. I challenge you to use social media for good. Share an uplifting quote on Facebook, compliment someone’s Instagram picture that you wouldn’t normally compliment, retweet a video of a cute animal that made you smile. It’s so easy to find the faults in social media so let’s focus on the positives. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve posted a bible verse on my Instagram story and someone chatted me saying they needed to be reminded of that today. Something as simple as that changed someone’s day!

So in a time where we are choosing our career paths and making big plans for our lives, I want to add one more aspect to consider. I challenge you to be kind every chance you get and to sit back and watch just how powerful kindness and compassion can be.

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