Back in middle school, I think it was 8th grade, we went through this program called Rachel’s Challenge. It was a presentation about bullying and being kind, mainly centered around one remarkable girl. Rachel Joy Scott was the first person killed during the Columbine High School shooting in April 20th 1999. Her inspiring story has set off reactions that many people don’t expect from kids. Rachel was only 17, but she wrote something that I still have yet to forget.
I have this theory that if one person can go out of their way to show compassion, then it will start a chain reaction of the same. People will never know how far a little kindness can go.
That day was a really strange day to be honest. The way Rachel led her life was through kindness towards others, regardless of anything. The program doesn’t aim to just get rid of bullying, because that’s not the only issue. Thousands of kids’ lives are cut short every year because they’re alone. It’s a horrible reality of the times we live in. Adults will always say those kids don’t know respect, they need more rules. But really, all they need is a friend, someone to tell them that they matter. That they can do something and their life means something. That their hands can change the world around them … just like Rachel believed hers would. (& have)
The program has gone on and touched millions of lives across the nation. I of course being the person I am, question the effect of these programs, how many people actually remember them a year later? 4 years? 10? How about 20? I don’t have an answer to that question. I know it’s impacted me and it’s something that’s been in my head for the longest time. It’s also what gets me through days like today where I just don’t know anymore.
What brought it up today was sitting out by the pond on campus and something just convinced me to look at my hands. I don’t normally (well I do actually do weird things like that) but for a second, take a look at your hands, feel them, move them around, and just look at them. Those hands are important. We use them for so much our lives and it’s often just another thing to take for granted. But I’m going to tell you something, those hands, matter. They matter because they’re yours.
They will do something amazing one day. That something amazing will be done by you.
Throughout middle and high school, I’ve always been the kid that stays in his shell, and I still do that, but you know what’s changed? I know that someday along the road, I’ll do something that matters to me. I’ve given up caring about what my parents think of me. I know what they think is irrelevant to me now and will forever be. I don’t need people in my life that will bluntly say that I’ve wasted my life and my time doing things that will never amount to anything. For the longest time, that’s what’s bogged me down and made me someone who I’m really not. I’m changing that now. The loneliness that inside of me ceased to exist today. All because I took one good look at my hands and remembered. I don’t let people in because I’m afraid to. I care about the people in my life a lot more than sometimes even I know.
This has probably become a mixed feeling kind of post I guess, but today was full of regret, loneliness, and mainly anger. Through that anger, I have a new found anchor, and this is one that I’m not giving up on, because it’s my life. And I will never give up on my life ever again.