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MAIL OPINION  By Shana Kongmun


How we treat others matters

I like many others around the world was struck by the death of actor and comedian Robin Williams. I grew up when he became famous and loved his style, his sense of humor and his kindness. For stories abound of his willingness to help others and his kindness towards others. His suicide shocked not only me but also the world. We all saw a funny man with a big heart, he hid the struggles he faced away too well, it seems.
Depression is an insidious thing, for those who suffer from it, it is often easier to put on a mask and show the world a different version of you. My father suffered from depression for many years and I never knew until it started to wear him down and then it would peep out from time to time. Mostly, however, he seemed to be the loving, supportive and incredibly strong man that he put forth to the world.
Those suffering from depression are not so easily cured but, I believe, that every bit of kindness we can offer is important. How we treat others matters, a mean word or action can cause someone harm further down the road just as a right word or action can help someone feel just that much better.
My mother always used to say, when seeing someone behaving rudely or aggressively “I wonder what went wrong with his day today that he is like that”. She would always treat people with kindness and consideration, even when it seemed like they didn’t really deserve it, for, as she so wisely pointed out, we can never know what went wrong with that person’s day.
It’s time we stopped living in our own little bubbles of politics, Facebook and the like that seems to have taken over everyone’s lives and start looking, really looking, at the people around us. Look at not only those you love but also those you don’t know. Be kind to someone, you never know what effect your kindness will have.

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How we treat others matters