By Gavin West

Walking among you are hundreds of breathing bodies that have minds of which you can not fathom to fully understand. These people are your friends, your peers, your family, and some, complete strangers with blank faces of which you have never met. No matter how close or far you are to them, you still know very little about these people when you think about the true complexity of their minds. They may traverse these halls thinking about you, about someone they love, about some stranger they thought was cute or weird, they may think about things you would prefer not to know about, or they may even think about harming themselves or others at times. The truth is no matter how much you feel like you understand someone, you really only know what that person allows you to, whether that be a positive or negative thing. This leaves so much grey space between people, that we must be careful with what we say and do to each other. All it takes to hurt, or possibly even set someone off is just a few harmful words said by someone who doesn't understand that person's situation at all. For example, say a peer of yours is sitting in class quietly playing a game on his computer that he brought from home. You and a friend decide to joke about how weird you think he is for bringing a computer to school everyday to play games. Your friend then adds to the joke by making another comment, but when he makes this joke he is much louder and you have a strong feeling that the kid playing the computer game heard him. Turns out, he did hear your friend, but instead of responding back he just sits there and thinks sad thoughts to himself about how he feels no one likes him or will accept him. Then after school this kid goes home where his mother is normally the only one there to greet him; however, today she has a new boyfriend over. This guy reeks of alcohol and it's only 4:00, so the kid you made fun of just goes to his room and thinks about his day including the class where you and your friend insulted him. Say this is as far as the scenario goes. While nothing came back and happened to you, you still left an impression on this kids day which made it even just slightly worse, and all it truly takes is one too many bad days for someone to snap and release their feelings onto other people.

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