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Be nice to others; think before you say anything

Hayley H., Staff Reporter
November 15, 2011
Filed under Opinion

In today’s society, people who are different are shunned by the cookie-cutter masses. I’m not talking about those who choose to be different and take pride in it, but those who act differently because of a subconscious reason.

                Some people who seem childlike and naïve are branded as immature. In reality, they may be holding onto childhood for multiple reasons. Maybe they never had a childhood, or maybe they had a painful one. If someone singles out another person and is holding a grudge for no apparent reason, the other person assumes that the person holding a grudge is just mean and doesn’t like them for superficial reasons. Maybe the person who is being singled out reminds the other of someone who made their life miserable, or of a lost love. Everyone acts the way they act for a reason.

                To judge someone before knowing their story is a dangerous road to travel on. Almost no one is mean for no apparent reason. Prematurely assuming things about people is a slippery slope and can lead to even more damage to both parties. The truth is that we never know what is really going on with someone that we don’t know. A big part of not being judgmental is having sympathy for and understanding other’s situations. After someone passes away, the general consensus is that they were such a blessing, a great person, too good for this world. Maybe if some of these things were expresses before the person passed away, they could’ve had a slightly better life. A prime example is Amy Winehouse. Before she died, the public called her a drug-addicted screw-up. After she died, she was suddenly this fantastic artist who everyone loved. This phenomenon is spreading and as a culture, we should start positivity before a tragedy instead of after it.

                Another trend is the idea that bullying in school is okay because “they’re just kids being kids” and the victim will “get over it”. This idea, which is supported by a surprisingly large amount, is both dangerous and damaging. 

The consensus seems to be that it is perfectly fine to say whatever about a person as long as they don’t hear about it. In reality, people often hear more than others think. The phrase “sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me,” should be changed to “injuries from sticks and stones heal, but injuries from words never will”. Emotional pain is far deeper and difficult to heal than physical pain. Teenagers are also often shortsighted and can’t see the repercussions of their actions. For example, a kid may torment another kid in school and come to the high school reunion expecting the two of them to be best friends. In reality, not everyone “gets over it.” Many forgive, but don’t forget. Holding grudges is something that many consider a fault but I, in some cases, encourage. If someone is tormented, they shouldn’t just get over it. Now I’m not saying that holding grudges is healthy but it’s better than people running all over others. The pitiful excuse of “they were just kids” doesn’t fly with me. They should be able to tell the difference between right and wrong and whether something hurts someone, if they are old enough to be a bully.