Even thugs need hugs

Emily Rojas, Staff writer, Designer, Editor

One thing many people want to receive in life is kindness and compassion. It is hard to say if kindness is human nature given our long and messy past. However, whether or not it is, there is still really no excuse as to why we cannot be nice to one another — it is not a burdening task, nor a hassle to simply treat someone with compassion.

If you knew me anywhere from 6th to 8th grade, you know I was not the nicest person by far. Those ages coincided with a phase that many people face at one point in their teenage years — the emo phase. I did not speak to anyone, I would ignore people, and I was rude in every way imaginable.

Before entering high school, I came to the conclusion that my discontent was rooted in how I treated other people. As a result, I decided that when I entered Oakmont I would become a nicer person. In order to become this type of person, I have focused on three main points.

The first is to be able to have empathy. “You don’t truly know a person until you walk a mile in their shoes.” This saying is commonly referred to, but not a lot of people take it into consideration. Everyone has their own situations and problems they are facing. Since there is no way to know everyone’s exact situation, treat everyone you come across with compassion.

The second is to practice random acts of kindness. Random acts of kindness are like a boomerang. If you are in the vending machine line and someone forgets to grab their change, just give it back to them. In reality, that 75 cents they forgot are not going to get you any closer to those new shoes you want, and since you took their money, you are now a thief. From my experiences, if you do nice things for people, people will do nice things for you. Boomerang.

The third and final one is to offer friendship. I see a lot of people as I walk around lunch just sitting alone with no one to talk to. You do not have to offer them your undying love and eternal partnership, but asking them how their day is or offering them a seat with your friends can mean a lot to someone. You may even find a new friend out of it for yourself.

At the end of the day, no one is going to threaten you to be kind and compassionate to others. But even so, being a good person comes with no extra cost and if anything, it has more gains. Just remember that even thugs need hugs sometimes, just be kind to one another.