In Search of…Kindness

On Earth 22 in another part of the multi-verse, the ministers on Xena’s world sent several teen agents, including her, to observe high school students on different Earths.

Her one-week mission on E1 Earth was to try to find some key to break the stalemates between rival factions and bring an end to the horrible conflict. Her world has been shattered by years of civil war between people with desperate ideologies.

She landed in a typical high school in the US. Here are her findings:

Day 1:

My first impression is that kids are not much different than the way my world used to be. Now there are no schools, as everyone is either fighting in the war or sheltering. I found the typical pretty people,  sportos, smart kids, creative arts types and those who fall in between. The daily conflicts seem minor, but the strong still seem to prey on the weak in a feeble attempt to raise their standing and personal self-esteem. We went through this on my Earth. It was gone by the time I was in school. I wish I could just tell them that hurting others will not make them whole and will cause development stagnation and impair their personal growth. But, of course, I can’t interact with anyone. Rule one is we can’t interfere with the natural evolution of any world, whether is it detrimental or not.

Day 2:

Maybe E1 is not as typical as I thought. I observed an “active shooter drill.” An alarm was sounded and the students and teacher immediately locked and barricaded the door and hid under desks. My briefing was obviously not complete as I was not apprised of a war in this area. The students seemed very practiced and skilled at it. When the gun raids and bombing started in our schools, desks and tables did not prevent the killing. That’s why we no longer have schools at my home. Maybe theirs are made of bullet proof materials. Note to self to check on that.

Day 3:

I wanted to view the entire student body at once interacting with each other. I noticed large crowds of them gathering in a place called a cafeteria, so I stayed in there all day to watch. There were obvious divisions in the room where different groups congregated. I noted the collections I logged before, but this time I also detected some division by skin and hair color. I did hear about the ancients on our world separating by skin color before, which was later outlawed. I can’t imagine categorizing people by these differences. What’s next eye color or clothing? I was very curious about the hair color segment. Some had pink, orange, purple, green, blue and some with multicolors. They seem to be in an area with many colors while some only brown, black, yellow or orange-haired teens were on other sides.

I was very perplexed by the actions of several male teens who went by the hair table, spilling drinks, knocking things over. One young person exuded fluids from the mouth in their direction. That seemed highly unsanitary to me. Then they shouted various words at them in a loud hateful tone and left, smiling and clapping their hands together in the air. They seemed very pleased with themselves, but I did not see what they accomplished. The hair teens at the table did not engage them. The obvious disdain by one group for another is puzzling. Their obviously bullies, but I saw no difference in the kids, except for some of the hair colors. Has this Earth really devolved that much that skin and hair color causes ruptures in social behavior like that? I still don’t understand what they were doing. The minor conflicts I observed on the first day seemed less intense. And it was interesting that no one from other tables reacted. Were they ambivalent or just engrossed in their own situation?

Day 4:

I overheard several teens talking about an off-campus meeting place called a mall. I followed them to observe out-of-school activity and realized it was an assortment of retail establishments. This could be a good opportunity to examine a societal cross section. I meandered around and saw many familiar sites from my old world. It was nice to see people shopping again, just carefree buying clothing with friends, parents or family. They even had someone playing the piano in an echo chamber to entertain them. We don’t have stores anymore and people aren’t allowed to congregate. They became targets for mass killings by each faction.

I detected a couple of confusing observations. First, there seem to be armed patrol groups of teens and young adults in the stores. I viewed them walking back and forth a few times with no intended destination. I also monitored a few random people shopping who were carrying side weapons. I need to update the ranking on this area in our computer. It was previously ranked as yellow, but the presence of personal weapons may indicate otherwise. More study will be needed.

Day 5:

When at the mall, I noted propaganda mediums are still in use on E1. Finding conflicting information, I decided to investigate those mediums today to attempt to reconcile my personal findings with the data I was given.

Propaganda is disseminated through many electronic devices. I remember those from our archives. I believe they were one of the initial causes of misinformation and detachment in my world. They were abolished not long after the fighting began.

I watched many segments of their news. There was a lot of focus on different issues but very little agreement. And there was a lot of shouting. I need to check if the hearing levels are decreasing in the people here.

Their processing systems also had written and verbal news and something called social media. I heard some teens discussing the various outlets. I read some of the trending news but it seemed to be a very dysfunctional and disconnected series of arguments, echoing some of the yelling I heard on the their news.  

Personal Mission Log:

After 5 of my 7 days, I am abandoning this survey. I realize this mission is futile. I found no evidence of kindness that can help my world. Kindness died on my Earth a long time ago. I hate to see another Earth descend into the same ridiculous rivalries, corruption and cruelty toward each other. Despite rule one, I decided to leave something behind to spark some ideas. On my world, we developed a mantra to try and promote peace between are warring factions. I left my sign that says, “Open Mind. Open Heart. Accept.” I hope someone takes it seriously. I’m going to recommend we don’t visit E1 again for at least twenty years. Maybe the next generation will change things, but if not, this Earth could meet the same fate as mine-or worse.

(c) Suzanne Rudd Hamilton 2022

Published by suzanneruddhamilton

I write anything from novels and children's books to plays to relate and retell everyday life experiences in a fun-filled read with heart, hope and humor. A former journalist and real estate marketing expert, I am a transplant from Chicago, now happily living in southwest Florida to keep warm and sunny all year round. You can find me at

One thought on “In Search of…Kindness

  1. So sad, yet foreseeably true.
    You describe the nuanced lifestyles of contemporary teens almost as if you are one!


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