Reimagine a better world: "kind is kind, not an option"

butterfly and a flower

When I was 17, I made a video telling my hopes for this world. I want to see and feel more kindness and respect from people towards other people as well as to all creatures on this earth. I want more people who are aware of the important things that must be our particular concern and must be discussed together in order to achieve the world we aspire to. However, now I am 21 years old. For about 3 years from the video I made, I went through various valuable events and lessons in life. In addition, I practice critical thinking and thinking about the possibilities and impossibility that occurs in this world, not being hopeless but indeed there are things that cannot consistently happen in the world. So, I thought that my previous wish might not be instantly realized, it might not be accepted by many people, there might be various cons of many people with their own thoughts. I accept it all. One of my wish that I really dream of is seeing and feeling more kindness because kind is kind, it's not an option. I will discuss this from a philosophical perspective, namely the ethics of virtue (since I am a 3rd year philosophy student at Gadjah Mada University).

Kindness according to the philosopher Aristotle is "the activity of the soul and its conformity to virtue". There are four virtues for him, namely courage, self-control, generosity, and honesty. Along with other ancient philosophers such as Socrates and Plato, he questioned what qualities a good person possesses. Before discussing further, we must first understand what virtue is as mentioned by Aristotle at the beginning. According to Wikipedia (2021), Virtue (Latin: Virtus) is moral excellence. A virtue is a trait or quality that is deemed to be morally good and thus is valued as a foundation of principle and good moral being. In other words, it is a behavior that shows high moral standards: doing what is right and avoiding what is wrong. For Aristotle, virtue is a solid and unchanging nature. Furthermore, he stated that virtue is a character trait that is marked in daily activities in the form of habitual actions (Gufron, 2016). A person who meets the requirements of virtue is someone who is consistent in doing kindness. According to Magnis-Suseno (2000), "the main human being" is a noble, strong human being, with the power to carry out what is good and right, to carry out his responsibility. Virtue is formed from a long process of habituation and practice. Virtue is not possessed by humans from birth, they doesn't yet have a moral awareness (Gufron, 2016). So, the role of education is very necessary.
The main focus of virtue ethics is the ethics of being, or what kind of person we should be. Back to the discussion of the virtues of the philosopher Aristotle, he understood it as an "arête" namely the ability to perform a specific function of something well, in this case we as humans must succeed in carrying out the typical function of humanity properly. For Aristotle (in Gufron, 2016:106), the central human virtue is wisdom (phronesis), namely the ability to act on the basis of righteous judgements and decisions of reason (kata ton orthon logon).

In this era, humans want to plan for the future by departing from the basis of virtue. I believe that we can manage our will by collecting ideas, putting them into practice, writing the results as basic material for us to convey later in our future projects. I mean this as a first step to develop the next plan. But what I mean by future plans is not the current plan, instead it is the impact of the present plan. Since we never know what will happen in the future, the only information we know is the plans for the present. My prediction is that the plans we make with virtue and kindness can cause two possibilities, namely to a future that meets expectations or a new future that we never imagined. If we fall into the second possibility then the first one can help to solve the problems in the second possibility. The point is, kindness must always be strived for, to minimize the mistakes that cannot be avoided from the journey of a life.

Don't be afraid to face a civilization in the future that we really don't know about at all. Because the present has the same fate, in the past we cannot imagine what is happening in the present. For example the Covid-19 pandemic, about 100 years ago there was also a situation similar to the current situation but the Covid-19 pandemic is more complex, considering that we have entered the global millennial world. If 100 years ago only certain countries were affected, now almost all the countries from around the world experiencing a pandemic. The information on the pandemic 100 years ago cannot be fully applied, meaning that we must face the current pandemic together. As well as the future. The kindness that become the virtue is actually a tool to deliver humans to process towards a completely new future civilization. What is the function of the tool of kindness? namely to shape the character of humans who will later be born into potential humans who will be ready to become future humans. 

Today we can still feel the beautiful flowers blooming in the garden with colorful butterflies. But there is also an area that has butterflies that are gray because of high levels of industrial factory pollution or butterflies in a land that is always at war. In the future, we do not know whether the colorful butterflies with blooming flowers in the garden that we can still see, or whether the butterflies are dark in color. It all depends on our choices today about kindness.


Love, Avisheena.




Franz Magnis-Suseno, 13 Tokoh Etika Abad ke-20, (Yogyakarta: Kanisius, 2000)

Gufron, Iffan. (2016). MENJADI MANUSIA BAIK DALAM PERSPEKTIF ETIKA KEUTAMAAN. Jurnal Yaqzhan: Analisis Filsafat, Agama Dan Kemanusiaan, 2(1).

Wikipedia Contributors. (2021, December 4). Virtue. Wikipedia; Wikimedia Foundation.