Respect must be given to everyone, even if they are strangers

Maddie Davis, Co-Editor

The girl who sits in the corner in your first hour pulls her jacket sleeves down, covering the cuts on her wrists.
The boy who sits outside the school on the benches in the freezing cold doesn’t want to go home to his abusive father.
The girl who sits by herself at lunch is on five different medications for schizophrenia and doesn’t have any friends.
The boy who fakes a smile in the hallway is thinking about suicide once he gets home from school.
If you were just an ordinary person passing by these people on the way to your next class, you would have no idea what is going on in their lives.
It often goes like this — once we find out about someone’s struggles, we feel bad for them.
But why should it take seeing the cuts on someone’s arm, finding out about someone’s abusive father, catching a glance of the bottles upon bottles of pills in someone’s backpack or knowing someone who killed themself for us actually to care about them?
It doesn’t make any sense.
If we all started off having more respect for one another and being kind, it wouldn’t hurt as much for the girl whose messy hair you made fun of.
Maybe after she hears you say that, she goes home and reopens the cuts on her wrist because of that one little comment you made.
Maybe after you smirk at the boy who is already having a bad enough day in the hallway, he goes home and adds that to his list of reasons why he should kill himself.
Yes, these things seem so small, but that’s the thing. Since they’re so small, it’s easy to change them, and the impact they make is beyond imaginable.
So, skip the comment about the girl’s attitude because, maybe, there’s nothing she can do about it.
Don’t make fun of the boy’s big winter jacket because it’s the only thing that allows him to stay away from home and all of the abuse.
In general, just be more respectful because you don’t know what battle the person sitting next to you is fighting.