A Guide to Becoming Rich and Famous

16 Nov

Here is this weeks The View From Venus column, which can be found in the November 15th issue of The Chronicle, or on their website.

A Guide to Becoming Rich and Famous

by: E-board member Emily Perez

This week, instead of focusing on an issue specific to women, I have decided to write about one that concerns the human race in general. I want to write about compassion; the rarity of it, the appreciation of it, and the enduring power of it. If you are a Facebook user, you may have noticed a recent effort by senior Justin McCormack to strengthen our community with The Saint Rose Kindness Movement. When asked about the origins of his online campaign, McCormack noted that, “Saint Rose has a wonderfully close knit community.However, over the years I have noticed a disheartening trend on campus. When I pass by people that I’ve met but don’t know too well, they never seem to acknowledge that they know me. Often times I’d wondered if maybe it was just me that this happened to. It was not until a few weeks ago that I realized it wasn’t…That’s when I came up with the idea for the ‘Saint Rose Kindness Movement.”

“The intention of the movement is very simple: All it asks is for you to smile, wave, nod, maybe even say ‘hi’ to the people you pass throughout the day…This simple act of kindness can often make a person’s day and can sometimes spark new friendships. My hope is that it will at least bring some smiles to people’s faces and make everyone’s day a little brighter.”

Some people may question how greeting someone on the sidewalk on the way to class or stopping to help someone pick up their belongings could affect change. Sometimes I think of all the good things I have thought about other people and never said, of the unacknowledged blessings granted to me, and the muddle of unuttered declarations of thankfulness for those who have changed my life with their actions.  Regret colors my reflections on all I could have done to pay forward the gifts I have received. In order to engender compassion and gratitude in our day to day actions, I propose that we carry out the mission of the Saint Rose Kindness Movement by striving to bring attention to the moments of beauty we experience.

Do you share with others when you encounter a moment of unanticipated kindness, joy or love? Do you let the silver-lining moments of the day fade into nothingness, or do you sustain their shine by taking them as an opportunity to affect change?

For every act of kindness you observe in a single day, I challenge you to share what you saw and respond with your own demonstration of compassion and generosity. You might not be able to measure the magnitude of this change in your daily life, but it will run deep in the hearts of those you help.

We all need to stop and reflect on what we could be doing to support each other in these difficult times, because even the smallest act can make all the difference between floating and falling. Instead of constantly monitoring our own progress in trying to become the best, the most well known, the most sought after, we might instead try to redefine our standards of success in terms of how powerfully we have affected the lives of those who inhabit our world. To that end, I would like to close with words from the poem “Famous” by Naomi Shihab Nye:

“I want to be famous to shuffling men
who smile while crossing streets,
sticky children in grocery lines,
famous as the one who smiled back.
I want to be famous in the way a pulley is famous,
or a buttonhole, not because it did anything spectacular,
but because it never forgot what it could do.”


One Response to “A Guide to Becoming Rich and Famous”


  1. The Chronicle: The Student Newspaper at The College of Saint Rose » The View from Venus: Women’s Initiative Wants YOU And What Makes You Empowered! - November 21, 2011

    […] the Women’s Initiative compiled a resource list that we proudly display on our Facebook Page and our blog with (in the words of Abby Finkelman) “pro-woman news, information and entertainment.” Included […]

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