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If You Can't Say Something Nice...

Lately there's been a lot of talk of death where I live. Three teenagers I am familiar with have died in the past two months. Not the most positive atmosphere. The most recent death was that of a young eighth grader who committed suicide. I had known the girl fairly well. She rode my bus, lived down the road from me, and the last I had seen her was at my friend’s birthday party over the summer. When I heard she had hung herself I just couldn't believe it. How could anyone be pushed that limit? To thinking that the only way out is to kill yourself? It makes you feel so helpless to know that you could have saved someone's life by just talking to them.

The worst part is not knowing. When someone is being bullied and they don't tell anyone, they can't get the proper help. If no one knows, no one will say anything. And I believe that's the problem. Most people won't step in and take initiative unless they're provoked. I think people should learn to take action; be kind to others, and make people feel good even when it’s not asked of you. It's not hard to either, just tell someone something simple, you don't have to think too hard about it. A compliment is the easiest way to put somebody up. A "I really like your hair today" would be sufficient.

People may think bullying is an old, tired subject; when it’s quite the contrary. You may not think what you're saying is hurtful, and in your eyes it may not be. But to others, it might be taken as a serious insult. For example, say you see your friend who you're not really close with but you know them, wearing a Wal-Mart brand shirt. You're standing with your other friends and you decide to make a funny by saying something along the lines of "Why would you wear a Wal-Mart shirt to school. What's wrong with you?" and then laughing. That person might laugh with you about it, and even joke back. But you never know, that person could go home and that'd be all they can think about.

Those little comments are not necessary. You don't know what somebody's situation is right off the bat, just by looking at them. You have no idea what their home life is like, or what their living situation is. So who gave you the right to judge?

I over analyze things, I'll admit it. I think about things long after they've happened. Like when I lay down to go to sleep at night, more often than not I can't fall asleep because I'm thinking about all the things that happened that day and maybe the day before. Not just the big things either, it's those tiny details that get me. I read into situations to the point where I don't know how to react. It’s a bad habit. But I’m sure I’m not the only one either.

It also takes me a long time to be comfortable in a new environment; for example, being on a sport. I'm not the most athletic person to begin with, I prefer the arts. But, when I do join a sport I'll work really hard to improve. On the swim team, I didn't know how to do a lot of things. I kind of just went with the flow since the coach I had wasn't the most helpful. We were kind of expected to know what to do already. I was finally starting to feel really good about what I was doing. When one day at practice, my coach called me out in front of the team, some people might not have taken it so hard but it got me to thinking. Has everything I've been doing, been done wrong? It was a real slap in the face. It’s a small thing like that, that can bring me crumbling down even after I've been feeling good. So I'm really careful about what I say to people. What you're talking about so freely could be a touchy subject for others.

The world today has been in a downward spiral for a while now. Media is bad for society and its getting bigger and bigger. Teenagers are growing up too quickly, and don't even get me started on technology. Besides sounding like a loony old person to you technology loving people, what I'm trying to say is no matter how advanced the world gets; people’s feelings will always be there. I think because machines don't have feelings, and now people use them all the time, that we're beginning to treat each other that way. With no respect. Open your eyes and realize, what you say makes a difference. It’s what you don't say that's important, so make sure what you do say is mindful.



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