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The Rachel challenge

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This past week I had the opportunity to watch the movie “I Am Not Ashamed.”

The movie spotlights the life of Rachel Joy Scott, a victim of the Columbine shooting.

Rachel was a force to be reckoned with, and though she had a rocky past, she embraced everyone around her with kindness and truly made her surroundings a better place to live in.

As I look at the world around me, I wish that every person I encounter saw the world in the kindness and grace that she did. I wish that I had the courage to forgive people the way Rachel did with people in her own life.

Rachel’s Challenge now circulates the country in schools to teach them the message of kindness. Her challenge says, first, a person will look for the best in others. It is easy to see others how the world sees them or how they want the world to see them. It takes someone extremely special to see through their persona or break through their walls in order to see who they truly are.

Secondly, Rachel’s challenge says a person will dream big. I won’t accept that the world will always be a place full of hate. Like Martin Luther King Jr., I will dream and work for a world in which everybody is shown love and respect.

The third challenge of Rachel’s is a person will choose positive influences. We are like those who we choose to spend our time around. Rather than spending time with people who corrupt those around them, I will be around those who pollute the world with love.

The fourth point of Rachel’s Challenge, is a person will speak with kindness. People are challenged to use words that encourage the world rather than bring it down.

Finally, Rachel challenges people to start their own chain reaction. Others will see a difference in that person, making them strive for a difference in themselves.

“I have this theory that if one person can go out of their way to show compassion, then it will start a chain reaction of the same. People will never know how far a little kindness can go,” Rachel said.

I guarantee that if we lived out Rachel’s challenge in our lives, the world would be a much better place.

Go fill the world with kindness. Take a look at your hands and say aloud, “These hands belong to ___________________ and will one day touch millions of hearts.”

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University of Southern Indiana's student publication
The Rachel challenge