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Vishesh Gupta

Vishesh Gupta, '15

Kindness begets purpose

When people hear I'm a CS major, they ask me what I did this summer expecting to hear about my late night coding exploits. When I instead tell them I spent the summer working with ServiceSpace, a group of wonderful people dedicated to generosity and kindness, I get quizzical looks. What does that mean? How do you practice kindness for a summer?

One of my favorite things was random acts of kindness. I started small, leaving flowers or a nice note encouraging people to pay it forward; one time my friends and I paid $70 between us for another family's dinner at a restaurant. I realized that I was training my kindness muscles, and soon suggestions would come from somewhere inside me that the guy in a wheelchair would appreciate being pushed up the hill or a homeless person on the street could really use some lunch.

I experienced an inner transformation. I came into the summer lost and without purpose, living in a space of fear and stress that I wouldn't ever "make it" in this seemingly cutthroat world. However, every smile I left behind for someone started changing my perspective—instead of acting from the fear of scarcity, I started seeing that the world was truly abundant—there was enough for everyone, and I just needed to trust in the generosity of others. Slowly, I recharged my soul batteries and I'm back now for what I hope will be a very different year of spreading kindness.

Vishesh Gupta, '15, majored in computer science.
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