The official site of the Torch, the student-run newspaper at Glenbrook North High School.


The official site of the Torch, the student-run newspaper at Glenbrook North High School.


The official site of the Torch, the student-run newspaper at Glenbrook North High School.


Are we only kind when we have time?

Despite students’ many responsibilities, kindness must be consistently practiced. In order to create a considerate student body, being kind should be more than another task to check off. Graphic by Hanning Zhu

I’m not a nice person.

I realized that the morning after winter break. Beautiful, fat snowflakes fell down as I stepped outside my mom’s car. 7:58. I sprinted to the school’s main entrance. 7:59. Opening the door, I looked over my shoulder and saw him. Medium height, dark hair and crutches. Seeing the two metal rods under his arms, I knew waiting for him would slow me down. I also knew the right thing to do was hold the door. 

As I debated what to do, I grew more and more worried about being marked tardy. I didn’t have time for this. After holding the door for a few seconds, I let go without waiting to see if he had made it through. 8:00. I was late.

As crutches scraped the floor behind me, the guilt set in. I should’ve held the door longer. I would’ve been late anyway, and he obviously needed help.

It’s easy to call yourself a “good person.” It’s harder to act like it. And when I’m running late for class, holding doors isn’t my priority. 

But then is kindness my priority? I can’t pretend there’ll be a time when I won’t be busy, running from homework to work to clubs. If holding a door takes too much time, won’t all acts of kindness? 

Mom needs help taking in groceries? Can’t, got to study. Bad breakup and need to talk? Can’t, got to work. Bleeding out and need an ambulance? Can’t, got a meeting.

It’s easy to justify not taking time for kindness because of other responsibilities, especially in high school where everyone seems to be involved in so many activities. But kindness isn’t just another task to check off. And it’s definitely not optional. While it’s not realistic to cut out all of my responsibilities, I can’t settle for sticking “Be Kind” on my laptop. It’s time to start doing so.

Every time I’m running late, which is most days, I think back to that snowy morning. 

I don’t remember how many seconds I saved by not holding the door, but I remember the sound of the boy’s crutches scraping the floor and knowing I could’ve helped him. When I think of that moment, kindness no longer feels like such a chore. 

Part of me wishes I’d held the door longer, but a larger part knows holding one door isn’t what makes anyone kind. What I’m saying is that I was wrong. I’m a nice person, and one door didn’t change that. I’m nice because of who I am consistently. But I must make sure how I act every day, even on the busy ones, is in accordance with who I tell myself I am.

Even if you are a diligent door-opener, we’ll all shut the door on kindness if we don’t practice it consistently. So don’t wait.

Hold the door. Let kindness walk through it.

About the Contributor
Lauren Miller, Staff Writer
Lauren Miller (‘26) is a Staff Writer and has been a member of Torch since her sophomore year.