By Caroline Hesby, TIWP Student
Some people find it difficult to separate strength from violence. They think strength means aggressive behavior, a competitive mindset. To me strength is confidence. Strength is thoughtfulness, it’s care, it’s perseverance and it’s grit. I believe the greatest strength is not anger, it’s love.
My strength shines through when I feel it’s in my power to challenge the hate that invades our lives, that poisons our world, to fight those evils with kindness, with compassion, with the love that defines our humanity at the core.
I want to fight for that kindness, a broad term that most people brush aside because it sounds too simple, it sounds too insignificant. But it’s the foundation of our communities, it’s what fosters our connections. Kindness, every day, is the key to the peace we all dream of and desire.
So I fight to make sure others do not feel alone. That hate that lurks in our world sprouts from those who have been alone long enough to be broken, to be hurt, to stop believing in that kindness because they forgot what it felt like.
They say hurt people, hurt people. To break that vicious cycle is why I fight for kindness and why I fight for love. I must use that strength inside me, that I am so lucky to recognize, so that others can find theirs, too.
I want to be the reason someone feels welcomed and seen. I want to brighten someone’s day with a compliment, or even just a smile. I want those who think they are lost behind the crowds to know that their value is not less than the others.
I fight to make sure that everybody knows they are worthy of all the opportunities the world has to give, and that I believe in them as the person they are. I fight for others when they don’t yet have the strength to fight for themselves.
Your true strength will show when even among the cruelty and darkness the world brews, you press on with care, with kindness, and with love.