There are a lot things I credit my parents for, but raising my siblings and I to be respectful and kind to other people is high up on the list.
We were always encouraged to treat other people the way we want to be be treated, which meant whenever someone needed our help, we were ready to offer it.
Sometimes all another person needed was something as simple as a smile. As a child, I didn’t fully understand why my parents put so much emphasis on being nice to people around us, but of course, as I got older, it all made sense.
Not only is being kind a characteristic of a good person, but just the simplest act of kindness could change another person’s life.
Bekah Georgy’s story is the perfect example.
Despite her young age, the teen from Salem, New Hampshire spent over half of her life battling depression, multiple chronic illnesses, including seizures, and anorexia.
She has been in and out of hospitals countless times, and at one point it all became too much to bear.
The eating disorder derailed the course of her life, and transformed her from a talented ballet dancer who loved life to someone who considered committing suicide on five different occasions.
“When you look at me, you might assume I’m happy, bubbly, outgoing and full of life. But you don’t really see the complete me,” Bekah wrote on TheMighty.com.
She continued, “You wouldn’t know that behind this plastered smile is a girl who has broken and fallen to pieces. You wouldn’t know this girl had so much self-hate, she starved herself for over half her young life. Or that she’s tried to end her own life five times.”
Bekah explained that on difficult days, the only beverage she can drink is coffee. Not only is she able to keep it down, it also makes her feel happier and helps keep her brain alert.
One day, the teen was feeling particularly low and the suicidal thoughts were creeping back, so she decided to visit Starbucks for a little pick-me-up treat.
As expected, the barista took her order for an iced coffee, but it was what she did after that changed Bekah’s life forever.