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This I Believe: I Believe In The Kindness Of People

Essayist Mo Jingxi
Emily Reddy

I believe in the kindness of people. 


Many people have been kind to me here in State College over the past three months.


What would you wish for if you are going to stay in a foreign country for the first time by yourself? For me, I wanted to adapt to the new life as soon as possible and make some friends. 


Fortunately, I did that because of the kindness people offered to me.


The first day I arrived, my Chinese roommates, who I didn’t know before, asked whether I’d like to join their weekend trip to Cleveland.


This surprised me because I didn’t have the experience of sharing a rented apartment with others before. I thought roommates were just people who share the rent with you and no more.


However, living with them, cooking together and sharing happy and unhappy things, reminded me of my college life, despite the fact that we are of different ages and majors. 


Cindy, my supervisor, also showed great kindness by inviting me to attend some local cultural activities, such as a home concert and storytelling show. 


It is during these occasions that I met an American lady who experienced acupuncture in Taiwan, an Indian lady who attended a conference in Beijing with her husband thirty years ago and another American lady who taught Chinese people English here. 


I had a great time with Cindy when she drove me to Huntington for a Folk music event.


When Cindy drove me around, I learned from her how to tell the age of an old building through its design style and I had fun when we played on the swings in a park near the river. 


During my stay here, the two countries, China and the US also experienced some changes in their negotiations of a bilateral trade deal.


When I asked Elizabeth Goreham, the former mayor of State College, for an interview to hear about her visit to China in the 1980s, the news said that a deal would probably be reached very soon.


However, I didn’t receive any message from Ms. Goreham to confirm the date and place we were going to meet, and at that time the media was saying the trade talks had broken off.


I thought: is it because of the trade war that I cannot have this interview?


When I got up the courage to ask her about whether we were going to meet, Ms. Goreham, to my surprise, confessed that she hadn’t replied because it took more time than she expected to search for the 30-year-old files. 


The interview was successful and we spent some good time talking about her experience in China and her opinions about Chinese people.


She told me she believes the people of the two countries just feel naturally connected. 


I’m going to leave State College soon and I think it will become one of my wonderful memories in life.


What I will miss most will definitely be all the people I have met and their kindness. I believe in the kindness of people.

Mo Jingxi is a reporter for the China Daily newspaper. She was in the United States for a three-month-long visiting scholar program with Penn State’s College of Communications.

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