(Warning – this post sounds more interesting than I intend it.)
See, yesterday I read THIRTEEN REASONS WHY for the first time. It is a thought-provoking, amazing read. Definitely read it if you haven’t. The story is very much about a misunderstood girl and how these sorts of misunderstandings can shape our lives, sending us in all kinds of directions. While the book conjured lots of different emotions and thoughts, one hung with me and became the motivation for today’s post.
I had a conversation with someone (to be kept anonymous) regarding humanity and how we determine other’s worth—for our time, our thoughts, and sometimes even their worth as humans—based upon how similarly they are to us. This is a hard statement, I know. I’m sure you’re sitting in front of your laptop shaking your head. “Nah-ah, not me.” Maybe you’re right. Maybe you’re open-minded enough to never go through your day, week, and year discounting others. But probably not.
Most of us never mean to do this. But how often are foreigners viewed as ignorant because they can’t speak the national language? How often are the poor viewed as simple-minded with simple interests because they can’t afford to travel or have fineries? The list goes on and on. And I even think we as parents do this to our children—unintentionally of course. We are frustrated at our toddlers for disobeying when they do not even know what they did (well sometimes). Or our teens for trying something—alcohol, sex, whatever—when we maybe never gave them a comfortable place to ask the questions they have about those things. In short, we get angry with our children because they should know better. Why? Did you when you were that age? Likely not.
I know this post is coming across as a soapbox message, but really it is just my putting into words the impact one book had on me. I didn’t view Jay Asher’s book as relating only to teen issues. I think it involves people issues, specifically the way we treat each other. People around us deserve more consideration, more than just a curt nod of acknowledgment, because beneath each person’s façade is a real person and your attention could make a huge difference in that person’s life.
So do you treat others as though they are alien? Don’t worry, you don’t have to admit it, but let me admit it to you.
*Now if you really want to discuss aliens, we can do that too. I've researched them to death for my WIP!