13 Reasons Why had me hook, line and sinker from the first episode. It had become the talk of the Twitter town and flooded my News Feed. It was growing exponentially by the minute, and so was my curiosity. So, I watched it.
And I loved it.
I loved it because it was different. They weren't afraid to talk about the hard stuff. The stuff that happens so often when it should never happen at all. It was a beautifully raw piece of work, and I am thankful Jay Asher wrote such an alluring book, and thankful Selena Gomez and others brought it to life.
That being said..
It's important to remember, actions speak louder than words.
Or if in this case,
actions speak louder than memes.
Since the overnight rise in popularity of the show, my News Feed has been filled with people sharing memes that say things like;
"Watch 13 Reasons Why and you'll realize just how important every little thing you say to someone really is. Be kind, you could save a life."
Don't get me wrong, this is all true. You should always be kind, because you really may save a life. You may be that glimmer of hope someone needs in that moment to realize that they're not alone. That it get's better. That they won't feel empty, forever.
Don't just share it on Facebook because it sounds good. Actually go out and be kind. Sit with the person at lunch sitting by themselves. Ask people how they're doing. Don't make fun of kids in the halls for what they're wearing or things that they say.
Truly go out of your way to be kind.
Don't be like the kids in the beginning of the episode, taking pictures by Hannah's memorial tweeting things like #NeverForget. Or talking about how heartbroken they were when they truly didn't care. And the kids who continued to trash her throughout the season, even if after she passed.
*Cough cough f*ck off, Courtney cough cough*
Your parents raised you to be nice to people. Your parents raised you to be respectful of others. 13 Reasons Why has shown through it's own story the effect your words have on individuals. So don't just post about it, be about it.
Talk to someone you wouldn't normally talk to. Don't spread gossip about someone, like they did about Hannah. Especially when you don't even know if it's true. (99.9% of the time, it isn't.)
We all know how the game of telephone works. It never ends with what you first said, and it just gradually gets worse as each person tells the next what they heard.
Put your money where your mouth is and stick up for those being bullied.
Don't get me wrong, I am thrilled this show gained instant popularity upon release. It sparked conversation that needed to start, and hopefully it's a step in the right direction in regards to getting rid of the stigma attached to mental illness.
But I don't just want to see a bunch of memes about "being nice". Be as nice offline as you are online.
Be a shoulder to cry on, an ear to listen;
be a friend.
You never know what someone might need. So rather than focusing on filling up your Facebook with touching memes about kindness,
get out there and really reach out to someone who may need a friend and focus on them.
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