Few kids today are taught the value of empathy. It seems so hard for people to have compassion toward others and to actually understand what they are going through.
I was raised in a very loving family. As a child I was taught to put others before myself. We were always told to go out of our way to make someone else happy. My mom would tell me to say at least one kind word to someone every day. I will admit that it wasn't always very easy to do. But as soon as you see the look of gratitude in that person's eyes you just want to do as much as you possibly can.
I had an experience with a guy that I knew where people were always making fun of him. He was the guy that everyone liked to pick on. Because he was home taught, the only people he knew were the ones that he went to church with. Even there I would see people being mean to him. Every time I saw that happening I knew in my heart that it was wrong. From that moment on I decided I would make an effort to be his friend. I started taking him places with me and introducing him to people. I could tell by just doing that I was making him so happy. And I loved the fact that I was really making a difference in his life. For a while people were giving me a bad time for hanging around him. But it didn't matter to me, because I knew that what I was doing was right.
After a while I realized that he wasn't the kind of person everybody thought he was. And I was lucky to have him as a friend. And to this day we are still really good friends. People have almost completely stopped making fun of him. But the weird thing is that he never changed. What had changed was the hearts of others around him.
From this experience I've learned to be more loving and to show a little more empathy toward other people. What I did for my friend was so easy to do. And at the same time I had a lot of fun. I could only hope that others would start following my example. Before you start judging someone try to find out who he or she really is. You might be surprised. I want to make it a goal for everyone to say a kind word to someone else at least once a day. I can promise you that it will be the best feeling you ever get, knowing that one word could make someone's day a little brighter.
Submitted by Anonymous