After chapel in Hardeman, many Oklahoma Christian University students walk toward the cafeteria and are greeted by a familiar face, holding the Student Center doors open for them. Since his freshman year, senior Aaron Sparks uses this small act of kindness to encourage his peers, as well as the faculty and staff of Oklahoma Christian.
From Sugarland, TX, the gaming and animation major decided to attend Oklahoma Christian because of family connections.
“It is kind of the family alma mater,” Aaron said. “My grandma graduated from here, as well as aunts, uncles, cousins and my mother. My sister also goes here, and whenever she tells people about me, she always introduces me as ‘the guy who holds the door open for people,’ and then they remember me.”
According to his sister, junior Sarah Sparks, Aaron’s chivalry began at a young age, and she believes he uses it as a way to express his character to those around him.
“Even in elementary school, he would hold the door open for people,” Sarah said. “It is just something he does. I think he sees it as a way to make people’s lives a little easier and to show people that small acts of kindness can go a long way.”
Taking these ideals from childhood to the Oklahoma Christian campus, Aaron said he works to spread kindness as a way of “being a good person, through the small things.” Aaron said he gains daily motivation to accomplish this through his favorite quote from The Hobbit.
“‘Some people believe that it is only great power that can keep evil at bay, but I have found that it is in the small, everyday deeds by ordinary folk that keep the darkness at bay,’” Aaron said. “It is not only through the big acts, but also through the small ones that people come to know who you are as a Christian. It is not always about the spotlight, being seen doing it or because of any reward, but because it is the right thing to do and that is reason enough.”
During his time at Oklahoma Christian, Aaron spent his sophomore year as a member of social service club Psi Epsilon, before deciding to focus more on his major after his junior year. He has also been involved in the different chapels offered on campus, specifically Taking Sides chapel and View 63.
“I believe you have to know why you believe and not just because it is what your parents taught you,” Aaron said. “You have to have your own beliefs. My overall time at OC has very much been a learning process. It is not just learning the skills for my major, but also learning how to be a grownup and learning how to deal with people.”
As Aaron prepares to graduate in the spring, Sarah said she hopes his desire to spread small acts of kindness across the Oklahoma Christian campus will continue long after he has walked across the stage and been handed his diploma.
“Aaron is a really fun and sweet person,” Sarah said. “He is very friendly and will do whatever he can to make you happy. From him, I think people can learn that it does not take a lot to affect people, so if you want to do something nice for a lot of people, an easy way to start is just by opening a door.”