Why you need to do more than think and pray

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The massacre in Las Vegas killed 58 people and wounded 489 at the Route 91 Harvest country music festival, according to USA TODAY.

The pain has been felt across the country.

This is now the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history.

Terrible things happen every day, and sometimes, like last week, we believe it has reached a new level. Don’t accept this as a new normal, because it’s not.

I agree with President Donald Trump when he called this “an act of pure evil.”

So, the question stands: What do we do?

What can be done to combat pure evil?

The answer better not be nothing.

The answer must be more than giving thoughts and prayers.

Last week it was Las Vegas, a year ago it was Orlando. There is no rhyme or reason to these types of events, so who can say it won’t happen here?

Stop evil before it takes root with kindness.

Thoughts and prayers can only go so far. Action takes true courage and jumpstarts change.

If every student at South Dakota State makes a commitment to expressing good-heartedness and to supporting others, we will change our campus, our state and our world.

But this isn’t an easy fight.

Overcoming our own awkwardness, fears and selfishness can be a struggle.

When I am faced with the decision to show kindness or go on my merry way and do nothing, I remember instances where one small gesture made all the difference in my life.

From a wave as I am rushing to my next class or a smile that beams in my direction at an awkward social situation, to a small compliment I wasn’t expecting, all of these things are major day-changers.

Make an effort to show kindness today. As you walk to class, put your phone away, keep your headphones out and look at the people you walk by. Don’t be afraid to say “hi.”

If you eat your lunch in The Union and see someone sitting alone, sit with them and start a conversation.

If you aren’t bold enough to talk to strangers, make time for your friends and loved ones.

Drop them a call. Invite them out for coffee and pay for their drink, or just listen to how their day is.

Work to connect with others to expand your capacity to go beyond selfish, individualistic motives. Learn to open your hearts and engage.

In a time where our nation is recovering from destructive and senseless aggression, have hope and be kind.

Love will always prevail in the face of pure evil.

Brianna Schreurs is the digital producer at The Collegian and can be reached at bschreurs@sdsucollegian.com.

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