Kindness displayed

My experience with a minor medical emergency—and how generously I was treated

Despite how it may seem sometimes, it is human nature to want to help others.

Despite how it may seem sometimes, it is human nature to want to help others.

Ella Whalen, Staff Writer

It may be campus news at this point, but after a bout of stomach pains and lightheadedness on Monday, I found myself laying on the floor in the stairwell halfway to passing out when I should have been on my way to second period. I don’t know what made me so pessimistic in the moment, but when my thoughts were somewhat coherent, it was all me expecting for people to just leave me to writhe. They have to get to class, and I’d probably be fine after laying down for a few minutes, so why would anyone stop for me besides to get a look? I might stop for someone else in a position like that, but would anybody like that even run into me?

Fortunately, I found out I was wrong. At least a dozen peers in three different groups had stopped to check on me, and at least half of them offered to fetch the nurse for me, with the rest staying by me through the bell to make sure I got help. The help that arrived was a bit overbearing, I’ll admit—I still doubt I really needed their fancy blue leather folding wheelchair most of that time, for one—but it’s far better than being under-bearing, and I can’t deny that I needed at least a good portion of that help.

It’s easy for me to get lost in the news and tragedies I consume and build a deep-baked assumption that humanity is selfish by default, and I imagine the same is true for a lot of people out there. I try my best to avoid being like that myself, but it’s hard to expect other people to be actively nice when you hear so many people being the exact opposite—especially with the pandemic revealing just how many people out there are unwilling to do something as simple as wear some cloth over their face to help other people. Getting that proven wrong in person by so many of my peers is still warming my heart well after I’ve gotten better, especially since people are still checking in on me every so often when they run into me during the school day. It’s a drastic example, sure, and one where the kind solution is the most obvious one, but putting a strong example for optimism into my mind gets me to notice the little kindnesses people give day to day, and how for every selfish person I see in the media, there’s at least one more in the real world whose basic desire is to help other people.