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Stop! This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.


   I got up this morning and did my usual routine of getting ready forschool, including watching the news. The newscaster's voice grewsolemn as topics changed from traffic updates to new information onthe Columbine shooting. I listened as she recapped the stories of thevictims' lives. Then I shut the television off and sat there in myown little world. How could a person kill for no reason at all? As Ileft for school I thought about how much I take for granted. What ifsomeone came to my school and started shooting? What would I do? Irealized that I couldn't die. My life wasn't complete. I could say Iwas a great student and a good athlete, but could I say I was happy?No. I haven't done half the things I wanted to do with my life.

I arrive at school and see my peers walking around. Some are talkingabout their weekends, but some are talking about others. I hearracial slurs and name-calling. I remember the reporter saying thekillers had gone on a rampage because they were social outcasts.

At lunch I look at the people I see every day. It seemed likeeveryone has their little circle of friends. But what about thepeople who don't fit in? One was being pushed around; another sat ata table by herself while a group of girls at the next table made funof her outfit and shoes. Why were they so mean? Maybe she didn't havethe money for new clothes, or maybe she just didn't care. And whyshould she? Would new clothes make her any different on the inside?No.

I realized I was just as shallow as those girls. I too had looked atsomeone and judged them before knowing them. Some of my firstimpressions have been completely wrong. Some people I decided Idisliked turned out to be my closest friends.

Something has to be done, teenagers have to understand that we'redestroying ourselves. We have fallen into a pit of violence andinhumanity where boys beat girls, girls persecute each other andteens shoot teens. Why has our generation ceased to be human?Ignorance. When we are upset, we don't care about the people we hurtas long as we're satisfied. I am asking you - no, begging you - tostop and think before you act. Think about the consequences beforeyou call someone that name, before you throw that first punch. Thinkabout not only your victim but their family and friends. Put yourselfin their place. It is as simple as "do unto others what youwould have them do unto you." Stop the name calling. Stop theviolence. And please, stop the killing.




This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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Cesare said...
Apr. 30, 2010 at 9:26 pm
I wish people would think too.
 
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