Everyone has a story to tell. That’s why I’m always trying to bond with people and listen to them.
Our stories are the reason why I abhor the concept of hate, especially hate of people. It is my belief that no one deserves to be hated - only listened to. Once you know a person’s story, you understand him or her, and that lets you bond. When you refuse to get to know a person and just hate him or her, you’re just letting yourself be consumed by a feeling that doesn’t even have to exist. Those who are really mean to you shouldn’t be hated, only pitied, because they’re being consumed by hatred themselves. They’re rejecting the world, and if they keep doing that, they’re going to die alone without leaving any mark since no one will want to listen to them. It sounds pretty depressing, but it’s true. If no one knows your story, how will your life have meaning?
So, don’t reject others; keep them wanting to listen to your story. The moment you say a mean word to them, they won’t need to stay. The only reason they stayed was they thought you had something in you, something worth telling the world. And you still do. The only difference is you’ve stopped them from passing on your story.
The world is full of stories that happen every day. The one factor that separates the human race from other species is the ability to communicate. Of course, most species have some form of communication. Birds are the first that come to mind, but do you see any birds gossiping in the tree outside your window or writing their latest novel? They just keep singing the same dang song every morning. But we’re prolific in our language, adding new words to the dictionary and writing new songs and stories to touch new souls.
These stories are why I want to become a writer. I want to empathize with people and maybe even come to know the story of mankind itself. I want to understand others better so that I can finally understand myself. And I want to write about what I’ve come to understand so that others can understand. Some combinations of words are so beautiful that they can be called poetry. I want to write the poetry of our lives.
And as Pink Floyd said in “Keep Talking”: “For millions of years, mankind lived just like the animals. Then something happened which released the power of our imagination. They learned to talk.”
Keep talking, people. It’s the only way your life really matters.
This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.