The Fake Divide

All we see on the news all day is how divided the country has become. How can we possibly be a united community or society when everything in the media to point to the contrary?

When considering the content you consume, it would be prudent to recognize media outlets as a business. Keep in mind that they are not typically nonprofits or charitable organizations. Most media outlets are private companies who have a bottom line, and as such, they need viewers to move that line.

It tends to be more exciting to follow the negative news stream of hate and destruction. It’s human nature to want to watch all the hate, violence, and destruction in the world from the comfort of the living room couch.

Opening Our Eyes to the Good that Surrounds Us

If one is willing and so inclined, it does not take much effort to sort out the positive and good news in the world. Yes, there may be one terrible trending news headline that is being covered on every channel. But, if you take your eyes and ears away for 10 seconds, you can find an overwhelming amount of positive news going on in the world.

We can start to see that the good news, far outweighs the bad. On any given day, if you were to search for “acts of kindness” on Google, it would return an onslaught of national and local news stories of people making a real change in the world. It turns out that the positive news is probably a more accurate representation of the overall state of the world.

Acts of Kindness Going Viral

Colleges and universities have been center stage for negative news in recent months. When we think of universities in 2019, we think of activism and protests. However, a more realistic view is the one that Tara Curb, a chemistry major at Oklahoma University, displays. Tara started a club not for political activism, but for acts of kindness.

The entire focus on the club is to bring happiness and joy to students. There are no ulterior motives or agenda. The club does things like leaving thank you notes for teachers and employees of the university, as well as for students. They pass out balloons with positive messages and look for nothing in return except a smile on the recipient’s face.

Curb says, “The main idea that made me want to do this as a club is just that I think it’s really important to show acts of kindness to others, and it can be really fun.” It is important to remember that to be kind does not have to have huge rewards. It is personally fulfilling, and like Curb says, “It can be fun.”

The club has spread like wildfire. People began to see the impact of the acts of kindness on themselves as the recipient, and have been driven to start paying it forward. The club has begun to grow in numbers, and they are seeing “unofficial” acts of kindness spreading as well.
The club may have started out by just handing out thank you notes and balloons. After the popularity and growth started, they began organizing larger volunteer groups and events, like working with Habitat for Humanity.

What You Can Do

There is no barrier for entry when it comes to being kind. Just because you are not part of an organized university group does not mean that you can’t start doing things like this today. Start small and try leaving a thank you on a post-it note for a coworker. Remember that the goal is to do nothing more than bring a smile to someone’s face. Remember, information can be infectious. Let’s do our part to spread the positive kind in all that we do.