Welcome to the D.A.R.K Side

free friends silhouette holding arms raised.
free friends silhouette holding arms raised.

This article previously appeared in and appears courtesy of She's Fit to Lead. It was written by Li Cohen, a She's Fit to Lead contributor.

Spoiler alert: this is not a Star Wars fandom article. While the dark side depicted in the Star Wars series may be dark, mysterious and undoubtedly evil, this dark side is one of hope, prosperity and immeasurable wealth.

The D.A.R.K side is all about daily acts of random kindness and how those acts can be implemented into your life. Instead of just waiting around for inspiration to push you toward sharing a smile with someone around you, join the D.A.R.K side and discover the simple, little tasks you can do to brighten the life of someone around you.
Numerous people are famous for living such a lifestyle, including Mother Teresa, who once said,

"Kind words are short and easy to speak, but their echoes are timeless."

With this in mind, it is crucial to understand the enormous impact a minuscule action could make. A warm hug, a kind word or even a sincere smile can transform a stranger's mood and behavior to one that is positive and radiates joy. When you offer a kind gesture to someone, it translates into a behavior that particular stranger may offer to someone else, who will then be kind to someone else, and so on and so forth.

Not only does speaking kind words to others make them feel a sense of hope and happiness, but it also creates a sense of worth in your own life. People tend to get so caught up in the day-to-day attempt to balance college, work and a social life that they forget the purpose of living all together: to love. Rather than allowing yourself to get stressed out, overwhelmed and frantic with your busy schedule, remember the purpose of life and find time to participate in little actions that make a big difference.

As cheesy and cliché as it may sound, people are born to love and to lift each other up. Living up to this natural trait stirs up emotions that allow humans to not only promote a positive environment and community but fulfill the subconscious emotional need and desire to aid in the lives around them.

To be the voice that starts an echo, try out some of these D.A.R.K side tactics:

-Compliment someone in your class whom you have never talked to before
-Smile and thank the barista at your favorite coffee shop for being so kind
-Send an email to your professor or boss thanking him or her for taking the time to educate and mentor you
-Offer to help a fellow student who is struggling to carry his or her books
-Organize a study group for one of your classes to help people who may be falling behind
-Write anonymous notes with encouraging phrases and distribute them to different locations around campus
-Simply start up a conversation with the person next to you in line at a restaurant, store or anywhere else you may be

Regardless of which tactic you utilize or who you decide to bestow your positivity upon, the effect of such an act is timeless. The power of one is the power of all. Everyone wants to live in a better, happier community, and the best place to start building that community is within your heart, soul and actions.