I get caught up with my own problems way too often.
I’m not afraid to say that we are all guilty of this. With expectations from every possible angle weighing us down, it’s so hard not to feel the pressure and put yourself ahead of others.
I’m not here to argue that we should never put ourselves ahead of our peers; practicing self-care and self-love is an entirely separate issue from what I am about to dive into.
From my own personal experience, I have found life to be so much more pleasant when I am able to go out of my way to be kind to others, whether that means the people in my inner circle or complete strangers. It truly is an incredibly simple concept. It’s something, however, that I know I don’t always do as well as I could.
We all know how much easier it is to be friendly toward others and carry yourself with a positive energy when things are going well in your own life. I truly admire the people that are able to maintain this same approach when the opposite is true, and they’re battling some sort of hardship, no matter what that may be.
I’m definitely working myself to grow and improve that aspect of my overall attitude.
To simplify the issue, I’m going to isolate this idea to the Denison population.
Students come from all across the world to the hill with the common goal of bettering themselves for the rest of their lives. Granted, everyone comes into college — and into Denison — with unique goals that are specialized to their own paths.
At the end of the day, though, we’re all here during this complicated and stressful transition in life from being kids to being adults.
So why can’t we put each other before ourselves and support each other 100% of the time?
The point I am really looking to make is that the best approach to life is that which prioritizes the wellbeing of others.
I fully understand that everyone is built differently and manages their day-to-day stress and outward interactions differently. I’m not calling for introverted people to suddenly burst out of their bubble and become everyone’s biggest cheerleaders. Instead, everyone can do more to be more supportive, and more importantly, more appreciative of others. No matter what “more” might look like to you, there is no doubt that each and every one of us can find it within ourselves to improve on this front.
Don’t get me wrong, I think the community at Denison as a whole does an exceptional job at doing this. It’s the number one reason why I chose to come here.
The culture and attitude on campus really does foster a genuine sense of community which is not the case at every college or university. With that being said, though, this is one of those many things in life that we can and will always be able to be better at.
Most of us are familiar with the adage that you never know what someone might be going through.
People at Denison and people in general are such complex creatures. It goes both ways. Being friendly and thoughtful toward others makes me feel so much better myself.
I feel better going through my day when I’m smiling and saying hi to people when I’m going from point a to point b. I feel better knowing that I can positively impact someone else’s day by committing even the smallest act of kindness.
But I can do so much more. I can do so much more, especially on the days where it seems like nothing is going my way.
Take some time to think and assess how you treat the people around you, and what steps you could take to improve yourself in that respect.
Max Curtin ‘21 is a global commerce and economics double major and a Spanish minor from Manchester, New Hampshire.