Being Kind

In English, the word “kind”, which originated from “kin”, could be used either in classifying or expressing a warm or helping action.

The word’s duality could not help to intrigue me — is it a coincidence that we, the inhabitant of planet Earth, are collectively called “mankind?” I could not help but think that the latter usage of the word, the warmth and helping actions, are the foundation of the lives of men. Is it the truth, though?

Let’s explore that idea with an illustration: we have Budi, a high school student having a crush on Anita, his classmate. One day, Budi is absent from his fever. He then borrows Anita’s notebook, if anything else was on his mind given the opportunity. Trying to be funny, Budi impersonates the bule (how Indonesian called the Westerners) heard in English class listening assignment, “That is very kind of you, thank you!” Aside from his humorous way, Budi is sincerely grateful for Anita delivering the notebook directly to his home.

In her way home, Anita feels satisfaction for doing good. As she embarks on her way home, she meets Anesh, a Malaysian tourist lost in his way to Malioboro street. Feeling at peace, Anita is urged to help Anesh, in which she sows another expression with the intention the same as Budi’s. Anesh can not imagine how his short holiday would have been ruined if he has never met Anita!

How harmonious it would be if all the components of society have the spirit of helping or showing warmness to each other as if the others are their own kin! When Anita lent her notebook, Budi had the opportunity to comprehend the school materials, so that he may excel in exams, then hopefully fulfill his dream by professing as a teacher (along with proposing Anita). With Anita showing the way to Anesh, he would have told good stories about Indonesia after his own experience, and usually, good stories invite attraction. Increasing tourists equates to more income for the country, which could then be utilized for development.

Nonetheless, the illustration is an oversimplification of the impact of kindness we give. I want to highlight how being kind could leverage a moment and turn it “profitable” for everyone involved. Can we deny that we want our needs eased in our lives? As a part of society, we will need people’s helps for things beyond our reach. This may also be why there’s this popular expression “Semoga dimudahkan ya…” (“I pray that you may be eased…”).

Although, I strongly disagree with those doing good after the promise of good doing in return. Without the promise, we stop doing good. With the promise, doing good is robbed of its ideals, of its genuineness. Despite this, people’s intentions should not be our concern. What we could do is to keep doing good for the sake of doing good. Finally, for you, readers, I pray that you may be eased, in hope that you may ease the others as well.