The shelves at the local store are stocked, the signs and letters are out with information all whispering “Back to School”. Back to studying, meeting others, and finding what another year of academic and personal growth means for our kids. What better way to show support for our students than by walking in their shoes. This next blog was written by a brave, articulate, young man starting middle school. His desire to say and hear kind words from others is infectious: a message the P2E crew is proud to promote in our schools, homes, and community. -P2E Crew
“Three things in human life are important. The first is to be kind. The second is to be kind. And the third is to be kind.”- Henry James
When I go to school, I hear many hurtful words not only to me, but to other kids around me. Pervert, stupid, loser, jerkface. Some people don’t realize how powerful words can be. When I hear kids in line or at recess, and I hear these words used it makes me mad. As we get older, we lose more and more respect and we are more careless about our impact on others. This year I am going to start 6th grade. Sometimes, mostly at recess, I hear students cussing at each other and laughing about it. They dare each other to go around and say disrespectful things to kids even if they are older than them. It is the same thing when they make inappropriate gestures. It seems like no one wants to talk or even be around them. The worst thing about it is they say it and do it just to be cool.
Another disturbing thing I hear at school a lot is joking about weapons and violence, making fun about guns and knives and how it is so funny to talk about how people hurt each other. Kids say it for attention and they usually get it. But most of the time it isn’t good attention.
Suicide is also a huge thing students talk about with friends. A few days ago, I was on the bus and I overheard some classmates talking. A student was telling her friend about her brother breaking down a lot. Even in public places. I saw her eyes tearing up until she distracted herself, making them go away. She said her life is stupid and pathetic. Then she was telling the friend that her mom has told her she doesn’t love her and started tearing up again. That’s when they were making motions of hanging themselves. When I hear this it makes me want to cry.
When I got off the bus that day, I told my mom the whole story. She told me we needed to call someone who can help. A few weeks later my friend was doing way better and was going to a counselor every day at school. I’m glad she is getting help.
In life you hear a lot of bad things but you also hear plenty of good things. When I hear hurtful and mean words, I either walk away or tell them that what they are saying is not right. Or if something like the bus incident happens either you can help them out or talk to someone else whose job it is to help with that type of stuff.
Rockstar, BFF, Dude, Buddy. These are words I like to hear and say. There are many kids you love to be around and laugh with. Sometimes you don’t realize what you’re talking about and how strong your words are. Empathy isn’t just about putting yourself in someone else’s shoes. It’s also about being kind and showing your love one word at a time. A great book taught me this. It is very popular and I am sure a lot of people reading this blog have already read it. If you haven’t, I recommend you read it. It is called “Wonder” by Raquel J. Palacio. Like I said, it is an inspiring book that everyone needs to read. In this book, I saw that words really do matter either for bad or good, and even if you make mistakes with your words you can learn from them.
As Blaise Pascal said, “Kind words don’t cost much. Yet they accomplish much.”
Ty- 6th Grade Student