Recently I heard a story of a young girl (15 years old) who committed suicide because she felt trapped by her past mistakes. It had to do with content she posted when she was a bit younger – in ignorance – that followed and plagued her no matter where she went. To add on to her struggles, she also had an unfortunate interaction with a young man who preyed on her naïveté and low self-esteem. The boy had a girlfriend who beat up this young lady. The result was that the school at large turned against her, telling her she was worthless and that she should end her life, which eventually she did. She apparently left behind a youtube video chronicling her struggles and asking for help. My heart broke for this young lady. Yes, she made some foolish decisions, but, who of us hasn’t? The difference is that maybe your blunders (mercifully) didn’t have such a large audience. So, we shouldn’t throw stones. Instead we should have compassion. And if you cannot personally relate, then think of your kids, nephews, nieces, god-children, grandkids, neighbors, friends, etc. These kids matter and they are our future.
I shared the story of this young lady with someone of that age group, who quickly informed me that there are many similar videos on the web, some of which I viewed. There are so many young people who have been bullied, verbally abused and publicly or privately humiliated/berated on a consistent basis. This hurts my heart. I do not understand people (no matter what the age) who want to hurt other people. How can people treat others so cruelly? Whoever said “sticks and stones may break my bones, but words can never hurt me” obviously didn’t realize the falsehood of this statement. Words CAN & DO hurt. But what can be done? I wanted to reach through the screen of each of those videos and tell each of those kids how special & important they are! That they DO matter and they have lots to offer!
We don’t realize the power we have within our reach to positively influence someone else. Maybe just a word from you makes the difference in someone’s life for the better. Maybe if we start spreading more genuine kindness and care for our fellow-man, we can counteract all of the hate and poison that is spewed out by the negative people of this world. I heard about a young man who uses his Twitter account to say nothing but positive and encouraging things and that he has tons of followers! Sounds like there are a lot of people out there who need those words of hope … words that build up instead of tear down.
Maybe you don’t have a master plan or even a large platform from which you can effect change worldwide, but you don’t have to. There are people all around you every day with whom you come in contact. Start there. No, not everyone may not appreciate your random acts of kindness, but, keep on sharing and caring. It WILL make a positive difference in this and the next generation.
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