The endangered kind
Kindness matters

Dear Editor,

“Kindness is a wicked thing,” I remember saying as I watched the death of player number 199 in Squid Games. He had been robbed by someone who was once kind to him.

How many times have our kindness been taken for granted? I fell easily into the trap of thinking that I am one of those people who would never take advantage of someone, then I did. I exploited their kindness for my own self-preservation.

I am not truly kind, for how many times have I whispered coyly, “You don't love me” to people who never articulated it in my preferred love language. How many times did I silently scream at those 'wicked people' and pray that God exposed them, yet point fingers when I had to give an account for my own actions. Notwithstanding, all of us have been dealt with unkindly, but too much sugar spoils any tea.

In media, kind people normally look like me, sound like me, and even share common interests. I know this because most people have always typed me as being kind.

The truly kind people in my life were not always kind to me. As an ENFJ (extraverted, intuitive, feeling, judging) personality I will always need time alone to fully process that. The truly kind people in my life had nothing to prove or gain, they simply are kind, but even they can choose not to remain so.

Kindness has no patterned act or set face because it can sometimes be seen in those friends who cut us off because we are the deceitful and manipulative kind. It can sometimes be seen in the men of this world who I mistake for being toxic but still offer to carry me home. One said, “Yuh can hol on pan me shirt,” while riding his bike slowly. It's sometimes those colleagues who correct your mistakes quietly. It's sometimes the sinner who watches you from afar and in their hearts pray kind prayers for you. It can sometimes be seen in those violently loud people who seek justice. It's sometimes those introverts who are truly content with being alone but still check in with you. It's those kind people who have kept your secret, but then we silence or kill them because we fear they'll expose us when we're in bad standing with them. It's those people who tell you the uncomfortable truth with a stern face. It can sometimes be those strangers you never see again who paid your fare.

I can never tell you what true kindness is, but I can tell you what it is not.

It's not quickly discerned and in a time like this, when hurt is a hurricane, I pray we'll find, protect, and appreciate those truly kind people, however, they appear. Without these truly kind people, our ecosystem would be imbalanced, but even the pests in society have their important roles to play.

To these truly endangered kinds of kind people, may you never stop being truly kind because your small acts of true kindness have moved mountains for future scholars.

Thank you for inspiring me to be kind-er.

Kenloy Smith

kenloysmith@gmail.com

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