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Kindness itself is a selfless act done for the benefit of others. As Amelia Earhart once said, “A single act of kindness throws out roots in all directions, and the roots spring up and make new trees.” I can agree with the utmost conviction with her.

Kindness is and will be contagious, no matter how insignificant or significant it may be. As it was in my case, one small dictionary changed my life forever, language-wise speaking. Further on, it encouraged me to be the new tree, to be the impact, to be the catalyst of action for others.

It was approximately eight years ago, when I was in the third grade, my family had just relocated to the current town where I reside to this day — the same town where I received my primary school education. That same year happened to be the year that I returned to the United States after my stay in China. I was totally a stranger in a strange land. With the language barrier, I was unable to communicate effectively or make any friends. Yet, this fact made me even more determined to master English.

I still remember to this day, that it was a Wednesday afternoon, my third-grade teacher was going over spelling and all my other classmates had a dictionary as was required. I joined the class late in the school year; therefore, I was unable to have a dictionary in my possession. Fortunately, my teacher saw the embarrassed look on my face and quickly came over to me. I attempted to point to other students’ dictionaries and made a few gestures and utterances. To my relief, she understood and brought me her dictionary. After the class concluded, I tried to give the dictionary back to her; however, she put it back in my hands and typed something into her laptop. I was about to turn away until she tried to say “Gei ni” in Mandarin, which means “to give you.” I was surprised and quickly expressed my gratitude.

As that fateful school day ended, I brought that dictionary back home with me. Throughout my years of primary education, it had accompanied me as a loyal friend, weathering through time and the elements. I can say with absolute confidence that without that dictionary, I would have never developed my love for writing poetry or any other types of creative writings.

Without my third grade teacher’s kindness, I would have never become truly passionate with words. It was her kindness that inspired me to be the impetus of founding a Writing Club within my high school community to share with everyone else the love of words. During my junior year in high school, I started a successful Creative Writing Club that congregated all the passionate writers at my school. To this day, I still firmly believe that by sharing kindness and encouraging kindness in every individual’s heart, we can fill the world with the shades and roots of our trees.

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