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The Suffolk Journal

Your School. Your Paper. Since 1936.

The Suffolk Journal

Your School. Your Paper. Since 1936.

The Suffolk Journal

Opinion: The importance of kindness during chaos

My parents raised me on the principle of kindness and forgiveness. Growing up, I was told by my mother, “People will always remember how you made them feel.” Because of this, I have held this significance with me, and I have become very aware of the lack of genuine kindness in society recently. 

In my opinion, in a year of a global pandemic and a presidential election, it has become both more difficult and more important to be kind to one another. 

The uncertainty of the future of our world is frightening and concerning. The deep divide in our country and the fear of what the next few years might look like under our potential next president’s leadership has affected the minds and hearts of each and every individual in the nation.  

The coronavirus has caused a wave of stress and anxiety around the world, and has caused strong emotions in all people. The safety limitations, such as social-distancing and self-isolation, have caused people to feel lonely and stranded in the midst of unpredictability. Many have had to cancel their future celebrations and plans. Many have lost their time with others, their sports season, their school year or their jobs– many have lost their loved ones. 

According to the Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF), 53% of adults in the U.S. reported negative impacts on their mental health as a result of the pandemic. 

This presidential election year has also had an immense effect on the mental health of the nation. According to psychologist Karen Russell via the Sandusky Register, “In addition to anxiety and depression, we see other typical responses to the type of chronic stress that often accompanies elections such as reported increases in sadness and pessimism.” 

With the intense hardship and trauma of the pandemic added on to this election year, this will be one of the most challenging and awful times most people in the country will go through. Now more than ever, each of us has the responsibility to be kind to ourselves and to be kind to one another. 

We need to respect others’ opinions and forgive them for not being the best version of themselves at the moment. And we need to forgive ourselves for not being the best version of ourselves right now. We are growing, healing and learning from this year and need to be patient. 

There is no excuse for any person not to be kind – no matter who you are, where you are from or what political party you identify with. Even with all of the people who have been tragically affected by the pandemic and with all the people who have been demanding political and social change, the globe will continue to spin and time will go on. One of the presidential candidates will be elected and the virus will remain in our lives until it does not.

From today on, we need to understand the importance of empathy. It is the time to focus on patience and understanding. It is crucial that we are supportive of one another.

We need to take this time to reflect and learn so that we can move forward– not only get back to normal. 

Follow Julia on Twitter @juliaahaesy. 

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About the Contributor
Julia Ahaesy, Opinion Editor, Social Media Manager | she/her
Julia is a senior studying public relations at Suffolk University. Along with her roles of co-opinion editor and co-social media editor at The Suffolk Journal, she writes weekly for her column, Student and the City. On the few occasions she is not writing, you can find her buried in the latest issue of Vogue, wandering the city, or drinking too much coffee. Native to Massachusetts, she will be joining the Massachusetts Air National Guard after graduation. She is currently studying abroad in London, England. Julia hopes to continue traveling as she explores the arts and culture industries in her future. Follow Julia on Twitter @juliaahaesy Email her at [email protected]

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  • D

    Dudley SharpNov 26, 2020 at 7:33 am

    The wisdom and importance of this oped cannot be overestimated, just as I fear it will be under utilized.

    Thank you, Julia.

    Reply
  • D

    Dudley SharpNov 26, 2020 at 5:32 am

    The importance of this oped and the wisdom within it cannot be overestimated and is, likely, to be under followed.

    Thank you, Julia.

    Reply
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Opinion: The importance of kindness during chaos