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The kindness of strangers

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In Tennessee Williams’ A Streetcar Named Desire, Blanche Dubois closes the story with the quote, I have always depended on the kindness of strangers. Unfortunately for Blanche, the statement showcased the traumatic end of her story, but I believe there is a much more positive meaning in her words. We all begin as strangers.

Even if we have known someone forever, we met them at some point before, and we did not then know as many intimate details as we do now. Kindness seems to overcome the feeling of  unfamiliarity we experience when we meet new people, and it carries the new relationship until we have bonded with them. Reaching out in kindness can be life changing to the person we reach out to, and I have benefited so much from the kindness of strangers in my life.

I remember moving to a new school my sophomore year. I was terrified; I did not know anyone in the small private school. The first few days were awful. Then, one day in my study hall period, blonde chick dropped down into the seat next to me. Her name was Alexis. We have been pretty close ever since. She introduced me to new friends, helped me become more confident, and just helped me feel more comfortable in this new place; I supported her through moving schools, moving houses, and watched her graduate. Now, I look back and realize that if she had not been kind to a stranger, I would not have my best friend.

The next year, I moved to a new school. It was difficult at first. I was at another new school where I did not know anyone, and I felt alone all over again. A few days in, I was sitting by myself, and this guy came up to me. He said I looked really sad, and he started telling me jokes to make me laugh. I would soon find out that this weirdo’s name was Alan. Over the next two years, we became the best of friends. He was one of the only people other than Alexis that I really opened up to, and I have had the privilege of learning almost everything about his life as well. I will be forever grateful he decided to talk to a sad girl in the corner that day.

In my final year of high school, we had a new student transfer into our art program. She was really shy, and no one would talk to her, normally having to sit in the corner of the art room all alone during the Proficient class. I remembered that feeling, and I realized it was my turn to be kind to a stranger. So, I decided to start talking to her everyday after class and invited her to sit near my work area during class so she felt less alone. She taught me so much about art, even more than the teachers around me had, and She told me I helped her open up. I am so glad I got to meet this stranger.

In conclusion, I am so thankful for all the strangers who have shown kindness to me throughout my life. These experiences have shown me how important kindness truly is, and I hope to remember them in the future. I believe kindness is one of the best things a person can give to another person. Treat others well and reach out in kindness. You never know who may be a new friend!

Kazan, Elia, director. A Streetcar Named Desire. Warner Bros Pictures, 1951.

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