By An Anonymous Writer
May 16th, 2017
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From the title of this article, you may be thinking that this might be a review of the show everyone on campus seems to be watching. I will talk about the show briefly, but that is not the main topic of this article.
So, the show 13 Reasons Why is a TV series on Netflix that is about an American teen who commits suicide. She records 13 tapes in which she gives reasons as to why she killed herself and the subjects of each tape are different characters from her school. Don’t worry, I won’t give away any spoilers if you plan on watching it.
The reason why I started watching the show was because it was all over my social media timelines, in memes and posts and what not. The show is very inspiring such that it brings light to very important topics such as teen suicide, bullying in schools, lackadaisical parenting, depression, mental health, peer pressure, underage drinking and many other issues. It opens up room for discussion of these issues and I am glad that it has attracted the attention of young people all over the world.
However, one thing that really bothered me was a post I saw on twitter the other day. Basically, the tweet was talking about how the show has taught people how to treat others kindly and respect. This really shocked me because in 2017, people are just learning the importance of basic human respect and kind treatment of others. This is the world that we live in now. A world in which we’ve become so self-involved and so self-serving that these simple virtues are now rare to find.
I was forced to look inwardly at myself as an individual and at our UWCM community. If we really think about it, many of us do not possess these basic but important virtues. Because we live in such a small community, it is impossible to not know each other’s business. But why do we take pleasure in petty gossip and celebrate in other’s downfall? On this campus, we have a culture of saying we believe in one thing and then acting in the opposite way. I’ve heard people say so many nasty things about other members of the community and then turn around and pretend like they’re friends the very next minute. I would be a hypocrite if I said that I haven’t done this at some point or the other.
I think many of us don’t understand the power of the words you say, the power of your actions. You could either build up a person or tear them down with one sentence. Giving a compliment does not cost anything. Smiling at someone doesn’t take anything away from you. But most importantly, being genuine and acting from the kindness of your heart is key. If you’re doing all this just so people can say you’re nice, then you are just as fake as the rest of us.
Yesterday, I found out that someone I went to school with, had passed away. She was just 18 but she had lived such an inspirational life. All over social media, her friends and even acquaintances like me gushed about how much she had touched them with her words and actions. I did not know her that well but I can honestly say that she was a genuinely kind person. I look back at my own life; I am 18 just like her; and I wonder if people would be able to say that I had such an impact on their lives. I sat on my bed and cried, not only because I was mourning her death, but because I realised that I am living such a selfish life. I realised that I’ve had many opportunities to be supportive and kind to others, but wasted them. I don’t have love in my heart for those around me and I have resolved to fix this, not only in this community, but whatever community I find myself in in the future.
In this world that we live in today, love is what can save us all. Simple respect and kindness towards others goes a long way. If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing. Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonour others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.
If you would like to continue this debate, please do not hesitate to leave a comment or The Flying Dutchman at [email protected]