How I Truly Learned to Channel Kindness

I fondly remember the night of December 21st, 2017. I was lounging on the sofa at my grandparent’s house in Ann Arbor, Michigan, anxiously waiting for the 9 p.m. game of HQ to load. It was then when I received a pop-up email notification from Maya Smith. Curious, I clicked on the email and was overjoyed when I read the subject line: “Congratulations and Welcome to Channel Kindness.”

While I was elated that I was accepted as one of 50 Channel Kindness Reporters representing Born This Way Foundation (BTWF), my December 21st self would not even imagine what would be in store for my one-year term as a Channel Kindness Reporter and the happiness that it would bring me.

The first experience I had with Channel Kindness was at the Convening at the end of January, where I had the pleasure of meeting the 49 other Reporters, the phenomenal team at BTWF, and an introduction into the goals of Channel Kindness. Not only was I incredibly excited to meet all of the friendly faces, but it was at the Convening where I truly started to get the gist of the aura of Channel Kindness

Everywhere around me, I was greeted by bubbly, kind people who were passionate about effecting social change and creating a kinder and braver world. Many of the other Reporters I met at the Convening had such fascinating stories to tell about how they used their voice to make the world a positive change. I remember talking to Jacob Cramer, a fellow Reporter of mine, who saw a void in the acceptance of elderly citizens and decided to create an international nonprofit organization to send letters to them. Although Jacob made an impression on me, I never failed to meet someone else who I was truly in awe of, impressed by the amazing things that they have done for their respective communities.

Throughout my year, I encountered many more amazing people who are changing the world for the better. My first story for Channel Kindness documented an organization that I work closely with, Cornerstone Family Programs, and highlighted the contributions of the youth. Since then, I have interviewed student organizers of my local March For Our Lives rally, created a video illuminating the amazing work done my Spectrum, my LQBTQIA+ awareness club, wrote a personal narrative highlighting concerning mental health, and interviewed the lead actress of a Broadway show, The Prom.

From my experiences as a Channel Kindness Reporter, from the interviews I’ve conducted, events I’ve covered, among other outlets, I learned the true value of positive acts in our world. One does not need hefty funding, lots of bodies, or even an elaborate plan to make positive contributions to society.  Instead, all it takes is the instigation of one seemingly small idea that will eventually result in a ripple effect of kindness.

Although my tenure as a Channel Kindness Reporter is coming to a close, my desire for creating a kinder and braver world will never go away. I will continue to become a fierce advocate for social justice issues that I care deeply about and will use my voice to amplify the power of kindness in the world.

If I get lost in the idea of creating world peace, I will then think back about that one small idea: It took one small idea generated from all of the Reporters I’ve met at the convening, all of the BTWF team that I’ve had the honor of getting to know, and all of the people that I’ve interviewed to get them where they are. Despite the seemingly big obstacles people must face in their future, it is the one “small” idea that starts the beginning of channeling kindness.

 

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Perri Easley

Perri Easley, 18, is currently a senior at the Morristown-Beard School in Morristown, New Jersey. She is a two-term president of her school’s Social Justice Board and French Club. She is a lifelong member of Morris County Jack and Jill, a leadership and service-based organization, and serves as the Senior Teen Group Marketing Officer. Furthermore, she has served on the Cornerstone Family Program's Junior Board for two years. Perri spent the summer of 2017 in Rennes, France, and also her Spring Break of 2018 in Nantes, France, to soak up the culture and improve her fluency. She loves reading, listening to music, traveling, photography, and documentary filmmaking in her spare time.

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