www.whyville.net Apr 14, 2013 Weekly Issue

Veteran Times Writer

Speak Out

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Have you ever been in a mood that is so bad you feel as if nothing can make you happier? Then, as if out of nowhere, someone begins talking to you or gives you a compliment that really impacts you and how you feel? Gradually, the darkness of your mood fizzles out as happiness radiates within you. Chances are, it didn't take much for them to think of you, and they may forget what they said to you long before their words escape your mind. They changed your day for the better, and why? They chose to speak out.

Sometimes I catch myself living life in a very introverted way. I don't make much of an effort to talk to others, and rely mostly on conversations started with me in order to gain a day's worth of socializing. Though keeping to myself is perfectly fine in some cases, I have found that my lack of speaking out has hindered the way I see others. They begin to mush together as "this group of people" or "those girls over there," and who they really are as individuals is not important to me.

Why should it be? It's not like they're even my friends. Why should I talk to them when they don't know who I am, either? It's easier to just keep to myself and let them stay within their own personal bubbles, so why make life more difficult?

The answer is simple: just because.

Just because I chose to look around my seventh period class, I noticed the girl who not many people talked to. Just because I noticed her, I decided to sit in a desk near her at the beginning of the year. Just because I sat there, I made a bit of an effort to get to know her. It was nothing more than a casual "hey" or "how was your weekend," but it was enough for her to feel special. Just because she felt special, she felt as if she had a friend. Just because I paid attention to my seventh period class.

Just because my brother said "cool shoes" to the kid we walked past in the hall, the boy smiled. Just because he smiled, his day was just a little bit better. Just because his day was a little bit better, he held on to this moment and remembered what my brother had said. He thanked my brother a week later, completely out of nowhere. Just because of his gratitude, my brother felt happy. Just because he thought some guy in the hall had neat looking shoes and let him know.

There is a certain saying that states: "If you give a little love, it will all come back to you."

This is so true. Like in the instance with my brother, his random act of kindness resulted in him receiving a small bit of happiness several days later. The kid could have chosen to never say thank you, but he did. He spoke out just like my brother had, and both of them felt happy because of it. If my brother would have never complimented the shoes in that split second of passing, those small- yet impacting - happy moments would not exist.

These moments are building blocks that make up good days. They can be as small or as nonchalant as you feel comfortable with, but choosing to speak out and let a person know when you appreciate, like, or are impressed with something about them can be crucial in changing their day from gloomy to great.

Whether your tiny bit of speaking out will affect a person in a long-term manner or not isn't what is truly important about the act of kindness. Though some will cling to these compliments and thoughtful words, others will forget them almost instantly. Either way, you can never cause harm in being genuinely kind to another person. It is so worth it to build up the courage to say a nice thing and make a person's day rather than to keep the thought to yourself and pass up on the opportunity to make a person feel special.

Though some people are very shy and would not feel comfortable approaching someone they're not familiar with face-to-face, there are other ways to spread kind messages. Maybe you were reading the Times this week and enjoyed a particular poem, but didn't feel in the mood to leave a compliment in the forums. If this pertains to you, go back and make that post! I know from personal experience that it is awesome to receive feedback for work, even if it is a simple "I liked it."

Maybe you were scrolling through your newsfeed on Facebook and saw your friend post a pretty picture. You didn't bother leaving a comment, but maybe that comment would mean the world to your friend and give them the self-confidence we should all have. If this is you, I encourage you to relocate that picture and type out whatever it is you liked. Who knows - you could cause this person to start liking certain features they thought weren't worthy of admiration.

All in all, the world will be a much better place if we choose to speak out when we have something positive to say. Negativity can be hurtful and destructive to one's happiness, but looking for the better in others will not only benefit their mood, but help yours as well. Humanity can be a horrible thing or a beautiful thing depending on how you see its members. If you look for the bad in others, you will find it, but I promise you that if you search for the good, you will see how it can outweigh the bad.

I end this article with a request for all of you: find someone during the remainder of your day to give a compliment to. It doesn't matter whether they are a member of your family, a life-long friend, or someone you came across in the forums five minutes ago. Look for something you appreciate about them, and let them know!

You never know - they could be in a mood so bad they feel as if nothing can make them happier. Then, as if out of nowhere, you begin talking to them or give them a compliment that really impacts them and how they feel. Gradually, the darkness of their mood will fizzle out as happiness radiates within them. Chances are, it won't take much for you to think of them, and you may forget what you say long before your words escape their mind. You can change their day for the better, and why? You chose to speak out.


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