by Tegan Bradley, Liberal Studies
Lorelei is a first year SMCC student, a country girl at heart working to one day become a veterinarian. She’s five feet short, constantly emitting positivity and a friendly smile. Last week she was hiking up the stairs to the second floor of Hague Hall. Upon opening the door she was greeted by a friend seated at a round table. Lorelei takes a seat on the black sectional couch next to him. They exchange greetings and casual conversation. On the opposite end of the sectional sat a complete stranger. In a brief moment of silence, as Lorelei became more comfortable in her seat, the stranger spoke.
“Girl, you need to leave. Cause I don’t like you.”
Immediately she was taken off guard. Her mental reaction to his demand was, F off. However her eternal niceness dictated her fight or flight responses, and not looking for a conflict she left quickly without a word, finding a new location around the corner. A few minutes later her friend came to her, explaining the guy had gone and inviting her to come back and sit with him.
Now, as mentioned before, Lorelei had never had any interaction with that lovely gentleman before and is at a loss as to why he was so hostile to her. This brief scene highlights the societal problem that plagues us all. The idea that what we do doesn’t affect others, or the only time we affect others is when we do something over the top and blatantly obvious.
But it’s more than that. The simplest actions can hold great weight in the minds of others. The one rude thing you say to someone will cling to them the rest of the day, probably even longer. It will be filed away in the back of their brain for them to recall upon sometime in the future. It’s easy for us to be mean to those we don’t know, because they don’t matter to us. We will most likely never see them again. But you don’t know what unseen war they are fighting in. You shouldn’t be mean to strangers because you don’t know the pains that already possess them.
Humans are capable of the greatest kindness, so let’s start showing some.