This is one of those things that may indeed make me look a little insensitive. Indeed perhaps that is the case. However I am at a loss when I read articles like this. When I was younger I got called basically anything you can imagine. Fag, Queer, Gay, and Homo, indeed I was called basically everything there is to call someone (without being positive). Did it hit me and bounce off because of my rubbery exterior and stick to all those sticky glue ridden baddies? Well no indeed it hurt me deeply for a good while. However, never at even the worst point, did I ever even think about killing myself. Frankly people just aren’t worth that much investment.
I don’t quite get the generation that is a sneeze after mine. I remember Columbine when I was in Junior High and how a group of 5 (or was it more?) kids were all emotional because they didn’t have any friends. I looked and realized that I only had at best 2 to 3 people I could really truly call friends, the rest were friends by circumstance. However, while I might have written about the doom and gloom, I hardly felt it. It was more like a responsibility, it always just seemed right to articulate the macabre world I felt growing around me. That’s what I do, I try and convert what I feel or think into text because while I may be fragile and mortal the words that leave me are far less so.
So when did people become so dependent on the recognition of obnoxious pricks? When did we prioritize people that frankly don’t matter? Those cool kids you met in junior high and/or high school are probably working at a McDonalds now. Their personalities are toxic and frankly the only reason they worked in school was because they were butt to butt with a ton of people. When you have that kind of concentration of folks in a region you are bound to find someone who enjoys your dry comedy and ability to notice imperfections in people. Which really isn’t that hard seeing as likely less than a percent of the world population has anywhere near symmetry in their bodies. The rest of us have discrepancies ranging from a few millimeters to perhaps an entire inch or more.
For me in school the revelation, that change came the moment I personally realized that people don’t really matter. More often than not, unless they are filthy stinking rich (which is rarely the case), the people who annoy you the most will likely go off to be nothings that fester and vanish into obscurity. Sure there are exceptions, you have your Bill O’ Reilly’s and your Rush Limbaugh’s, but when you realize that they are maybe a few hundred out of the literal hundreds of millions in the US alone it starts to come into perspective.
I’m just curious as to what happened. Is it a side effect of our drive to make people sensitive? I didn’t really start seeing an increase in suicide until schools started picking up their punishment for harassing kids. When I was in Elementary kids could basically do anything short of punching you in the butthole and get away with it, nobody died, sure you had your emotional kids (myself included) but it was hardly a suicide worthy experience.
Perhaps we should take a step back. Stop trying to protect kids from an experience that really shouldn’t be all that much of an experience. It’s not unlike sexuality, we tell people that it is some taboo monstrosity and indeed it is treated like such. Anything you hand over to people stuck in huge concentrations will be compounded as such, so a small reminder that being accepting is important will boom into a ridiculous fear of being judged. The very day I realized how unnecessary it was to be accepted was the very day that my stress levels plummeted straight through the floor. While it was still a bumpy road it was an ever inclining one to the point where I am now.
You may exit school with a few less friends than you were hoping, but you’ll also leave school alive, healthy, and more than likely happy. Plus you’ll find most of your friends have become alcoholics anyways so it really isn’t that big of a loss, or maybe I’m pushing my own experiences on a bit too much there ;). To summarize, if you are a kid who isn’t feeling quite popular enough, calm the hell down. I played Pokémon from the day it was cool, through the days when it was ‘gay’, and straight on into today. Why? Because I like it, you should do that with anything you enjoy as well. 9 times out of 10 that thing someone is badgering you at school for doing is something they do at their house (this again is something I caught from personal experience).
PS. For those curious, yes I will be finishing up the Mobius code tonight. Just wanted to post this while I was waiting for my next class.