Here’s a story of what happens when a courageous and kind young man decides to do something special for his fellow classmates.
Nearly a year ago, Konner Sauve created an Instagram account called “@TheBenevolentOne3.” He used the account to anonymously post hundreds of pictures of various classmates and beneath each photo he wrote a few lines about that particular student. Whether it was a compliment, a word of encouragement, or a reassuring virtual pat on the back, his intent was to spread more positive vibes through cyberspace to combat some of the negative.
Throughout the year, students discovered they’d been “tagged” on Instagram and they would read the kind words written about them – but they didn’t know who was behind these posts. Here are just two of the more than 650 paragraphs he wrote:
To Cody W.: “You’ve always been one of the most intelligent underclassmen I have come to be around and meet! Your brain works miraculously in strange, yet amazing ways as you solve problems and figure out how to get through situations. You’re such an inspirational young man with many aspirations and goals, don’t let them fade away. PURSUE THEM. Not only for yourself but because your dreams will inspire other dreams and they will teach others to do the same!
To Blanca V.: “Your enthusiasm about everything you do just make people’s days brighter. There isn’t a day that goes by when you aren’t having a good laugh or sharing a simple smile with someone dear to you. I encourage others to look towards you in times of trouble because they can see how you see the SIMPLISTIC beauty in everything around you. That is key to life Blanca, and you are living in pure bliss even when you don’t realize it sometimes. You’re blessing people’s lives with your presence. Keep on keeping on.
We’ve all heard stories of cyber bullying and the ease with which it occurs when people are safe behind their computer screens. But what Konner did was something radically different. Instead of using social media to belittle or insult, he used it to uplift and inspire.
He revealed his identity as “thebenevolentone3” during his graduation speech last week. Here’s some of what he wrote on his Instagram page recently:
“There is one quote in particular from Maya Angelou that reads ‘I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.’
I find this such an inspiring quote because over the past year I saw a change occur in our high school, a positive one, it seemed as though we were more united than we had been in the past.
In the end, I realized that we are ALL the benevolent ones in our way and actions of how we treat others, it has been a wonderful year.”
Through this one small act, he created something of a cultural revolution in his high school. People felt more connected, more appreciated. They felt heard and seen. And isn’t that what we all want? What a great lesson from this high school graduate: we all have the power to be the benevolent ones based on our actions and the way we treat one another.