Recently, there was a serious cheating scandal at my high school. I was shocked, as I knew some of the kids involved. In the aftermath of investigations and retaking tests, my teacher said something that struck me. “We need less smart people and more kind people,” she moaned while setting up our retake.
I completely agree with that statement. Of course, that’s not to say intelligence isn’t important. But, we live in a world where value is placed on salaries and promotions, college degrees, and test scores. Even in the bubble of high school, the pressure to be the best is so strong, it pushes people to do anything to get that grade. The emphasis on being “smart” is drilled into people, starting in middle school. The shift from the elementary school days of teaching kids to be kind, to the rest of life teaching people to be smart, is jarring.
Why do those values stop being instilled in children after the fifth grade? At the end of the day, kindness is important until the day you die, not until your elementary school graduation.
As a child, I remember teachers telling me that my heart was my best quality. As a high schooler, that praise has switched completely to my head. In a world where people are trying to be the smartest, try to be the kindest. True success doesn’t lie in cheating to get the best grade on a test. Success lies in giving more than you take. Especially now, the world needs more kind people. Everyone who reads this article has the ability to be that person.
By Julia Abbott, a local high school student who has been writing for us since she was in elementary school. She has won awards in debating, speaking, writing, piano, and dance.