“When given the choice between being right and being kind, choose kind”
When I first read this quote, I was an immature fifth grader and these words meant nothing to me. It was only when I experienced tough situations of my own did I understand the meaning of this quote. Some people feel that this quote only implies to people with ‘unusual problems’ like Auggie, from the book where this quote comes from. However, I disagree. This quote not only means being kind to people who others force you to believe need sympathy but anyone or anything. Kindness to me is like a medicine, people say they do not want it but inside they know that they need it. The choice between being right and being wrong for the sake of being “kind” is a choice no person can make easily, but being right and hurting someone’s feelings can also make you feel ten times worse than being wrong but kind. That is why I believe that this quote is one that can make a difference in the way people behave.
An example can be if there is a certain child who is from an underprivileged background and he/she has joined a school. The child is less clever and cannot read as well as the other students who come from privileged backgrounds. Initially during classes, the child is getting lower marks compared to others. In this situation the teacher has two ways to approach the child and give him/her the feedback. The teacher can either tell the child in the same way he/she tells other students, writing a strict note to the parents with the truth written in clear words ‘Your child is unable to perform properly etc.’, which is the ‘right’ way. Or he/she could take the “kind” approach and give the child a gentle and empathetic feedback and let the child know what he/she needs to do better without making the child feel bad. The reason here is a simple one, the child is less experienced than the other students who come from privileged backgrounds, thus initially he/she has difficulty in scoring higher marks or doing as good as the other students. Thus, the approach, I feel, should be the kind one in this case.
Another example of a situation which would be better if people were kind would be from the book ‘Fish in a Tree’, which is about a girl who is dyslexic and is treated like an outsider because of this by the students and teachers alike, causing her to start feeling self-conscious and embarrassed. Only one teacher and student pair are kind to her and notice the true artist that is hidden behind the taunted girl.
“I come with no wrapping or fancy bows.
I am who I am, from my head to my toes.
I tend to get loud when speaking my mind.
Even a little crazy sometimes
Mistakes are human or so that’s what they say.
Well, tell me what’s perfect anyways?”
I had written this essay as a submission for a writing competition organized by Readomania. The article I wrote was also selected as the top ten most promising writeups and I also won a scholarship to a Writer’s Retreat. Noted author Siddartha Gigoo was also one of the judges and was part of the writers’ retreat.