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Rock Canyon High School's Student Newspaper

the Rock Online

Rock Canyon High School's Student Newspaper

the Rock Online

Rock Canyon High School's Student Newspaper

the Rock Online

OPINION: The Worst Mistake Humanity Has Made

Even Reddit forums inspire the importance of kindness.
Sophia+Miller+25+poses+for+a+creative+photo.+The+text+and+darkness+convey+the+negative+emotions+and+thoughts+given+to+us+by+others.+In+a+world+full+of+negativity%2C+these+ideas+ingrain+themselves+into+our+lives+and+contribute+to+the+isolation+so+prevalent+in+everyday+life.
media by River Brown
Sophia Miller ’25 poses for a creative photo. The text and darkness convey the negative emotions and thoughts given to us by others. In a world full of negativity, these ideas ingrain themselves into our lives and contribute to the isolation so prevalent in everyday life.

I firmly believe that even the most unexpected places hold gallons of wisdom if one looks hard enough. 

I think my best understanding of that came as I scrolled through Reddit, aimlessly skimming a melting pot of discussions and opinions.

Public forums can be a dangerous place, a void of human conversation without accountability. But, as with many human creations, they can also be a place of discussion, given the right elements.

In this sea of cat pictures, meaningless ads and oddly personal stories, one question stuck out to me like no other.

The inquiry: “What is the worst mistake humanity has made?”

Oh, what a question.

Perhaps it was the wish to stave off boredom for a while longer, or perhaps my human curiosity urged me to read what others had written. But, I entered the article, considering the ideas of technology and industrialization when one distinct answer stood out.

“Not being excellent to each other,” Reddit user Particular_Display17 said.

Oh, what an answer.

What a way to lead your life, acknowledging not the faults of the world, of “feeding the machine,” but something as simple as a missed smile. An unsaid compliment. A snide remark which, in turn, echoes around a mind long after the memory was lost to time.

Our world is in a loneliness epidemic. The alienation stemming from rejection only fuels this disease. We divide our world into “us versus them” so often– just look at the state of politics. It’s like people are saying, “If you disagree with me, you’re not worthy of my kindness.”

What kind of world is that? What kind of good feeling does that supply, on both the giving and receiving ends?

If we look through history, at all of this war and conflict and suffering, we’ll see a trend. All of this conflict, all of this pain, starts by not being excellent to one another.

When America fought for its independence, they responded to hurt. The Civil War, killing over 618,000, started because of the cruelty of so many.

I believe cycles of bullying, neglect and hate, though complicated, usually stem from this idea as well.

Now, this isn’t to say a kind word will fix everything. The world and all its issues are messy, layered subjects. I simply believe this conflict can be moderated if we take a moment to reflect on ourselves, our actions and begin to heal. Heal each other. Heal ourselves.

COVID-19, as worn out as a subject it is, was terrifying. What did we do when faced with this pandemic? What was our society’s response?

Instead of coming together to combat a threat against humanity, we turned on each other. We made it political. We began rioting, hurting others, taking our fear out on each other, instead of accepting the fact that this virus was, and still is, a chilling new reality.

Our culture is riddled with passive-aggressiveness. Forums online allow for the worst to be said without any repercussions. 

And yet, we still see good.

To use the pandemic as an example, amidst the fear and controversy of the shutdowns, mask-wearing and more, so many good things happened.

  • The video-chat service Zoom reconnected families
  • A distillery in Rhode Island used their alcohol to create and distribute hand sanitizer
  • Socially distanced hangouts, such as those in cars or spread-out picnics gained popularity
  • Pet adoptions doubled, and many animals were rescued from shelters
  • Organizations such as Food for Free donated groceries and meals to those in need
  • A quarantine-friendly wedding allowed friends and family to celebrate safely
  • A surplus of citizens volunteered to test the experimental COVID-19 vaccines before they were distributed to the public

Hate exists. Our society leans towards it amidst seemingly every change.

But a small number of us decide to make a difference. In choosing to check on our families more often, reach out to friends and donate extra supplies to those in need, we can make a difference; no matter how minuscule it seems. Scientists promote this idea, too, with one study proving kindness and happiness are directly linked.

So many think their compliments don’t affect the well-being of others, but that’s simply not true. Even if you can’t see it, we have to believe that being excellent to one another can help. Because it can.

Humanity isn’t bad. People aren’t inherently terrible. 

It’s society’s inclination to lean towards hate and division, but if we look closer, it’s not humanity’s inclination. The most important thing we can do is just try to be excellent to each other.

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