My freshmen year of my high school, I used to get breakfast once a week with my friend(we can call her Kayla). Kayla and I had been close friends since junior high school. We don’t really hang out anymore, but we’re still friends and we talk occasionally. Anyway, Kayla and I were both in beginning drama, but we had it at different times. She had drama with this one girl who she didn’t really like. Kayla told me that the girl wasn’t very nice. There is only one advanced drama class, and both the girl (we will call her Hannah) and I were auditioning for it, and we both got in. I had made a mental note to steer clear of this girl. If Kayla was saying she didn’t like her, she was probably bad news. Wanna know something? Hannah is now my best friend. Kayla wasn’t trying to be rude when she said what she did about Hannah. She had simply gotten an incorrect first impression of Hannah. Hannah and I ended up working on a drama project together within the first couple months of my sophomore year, and that’s when we became friends. Since knowing Hannah, I’ve heard people say a lot of things about her, and most of them aren’t very nice things. But you know something? They don’t know Hannah. They haven’t spent so many weekends hanging out with her. They haven’t ever really given her a chance. They’ve made their assumptions based on rumors or one bad conversation or a bad first impression or whatever. And when Kayla first said what she did about Hannah, I believed her. I believed Hannah was not a good person based on someone else’s opinion. But they are wrong about Hannah. That’s one reason I’ve learned not to listen to rumors. If I had remained closed minded and only listened to Kayla’s opinion, I wouldn’t have had such an amazing friend. So don’t listen to rumors. Rumors are hardly ever the full story. Hannah has since graduated, but even now, people still say bad things about her. But Hannah is not the bad things they say about her. I know because I hang out with her constantly. And when I was in the tenth grade, crying over some mean girls, Hannah was helping me calm down and telling me to change classes. And the kids who spread rumors about Hannah? They weren’t the ones being kind and helping me. Gossiping about someone says more about you than them, so keep that in mind.
In the seventh grade, I witnessed a girl get called worthless. Worthless. In calling someone worthless, you are saying they are not good enough for this world. That they will never amount to anything. That the world would be fine without them. How cruel is that? Jesus died for us so that we might know God. Jesus went to the gates of hell of us. To Jesus, we are worth dying for. Calling somebody worthless is disgusting.
Something happened in eighth grade. There was this boy. People weren’t very nice to him, but he wasn’t very kind to them either. I remember one day I was so frustrated with him, I spoke before thinking and regretted it. I immediately apologized, and he forgave me. It didn’t matter what he had said or done to frustrate me. I never should say something rude to someone else. From that day on, I was more careful. I was always kind to him. When he was rude to others, I would kindly express that he should take it easy. I was kind to him. He didn’t have a friend. I later learned that his life was a bit harder than I, and probably everyone else, thought. In science class, I used to see him get bullied by the other kids, and I noticed our teacher ignore it. I just kept being kind to him. Knowing his life wasn’t too easy and knowing he was bullied a lot, I didn’t want to make things worse by being rude to him. One day in science, he approached me and said,” I just want to say thank you. I’ve given you so many reasons to hate me, and you’re still so kind to me.” That meant so much to me. Over the course of weeks and months I’d been kind to him, it wasn’t until that day o realized it had impacted him. This kid and I are not, nor were we ever, friends. We were simply acquaintances who decided to be a bit kinder to each other. And whatever it was that I said or did, maybe it took time to get through to him, but it worked.
In junior high, a girl cried in the bathroom after being called ugly and told she’d never get a boyfriend. The people who caused that girl pain probably didn’t realize how bad the words had stuck. In tenth grade, I was called a freak by someone else, and students who barely knew me talked negatively about me behind my back. The cruel words that are said can stick.
But you know what else?
So can the good ones.
A girl who didn’t want to be my friend learned to trust me when I spoke kindly to her everyday. In the eighth grade, my English teacher told me the world was a better place with me in it.
Words are powerful. Superheroes and super villains similar powers, but the way they are used effects things. I’ve seen negative words tear someone down, and positive words have helped people up. There’s a song that says,” Words can build us up. Words can break us down. Start a fire in our hearts or put it out.”
The average person says 10,000-12,000 words a day. How many of those are loving and meaningful?