Growing up , I've learned many key lessons from my parents that I still carry with me today; don’t talk to strangers, sharing is caring, don’t talk back to your elders, treat others as you would wish to be treated, and most importantly, be kind to others, because you never know the battle they are fighting.

As I went through my day to day life throughout middle school and high school, I learned a new lesson from my parents, “Never let anyone break you down,” they would tell me. I kept what my parents said in the back of my mind, as a reminder that being kind is a way better feeling than making someone feel weak about themselves. Being a teenager was hard. There was always someone lurking around the corner waiting to laugh at you, to pick on you, or to ruin your day to make theirs better.

Today, I am 21-years-old. As an adult, I would assume the issue of people trying to bring one another down would disappear — but it still stands. Here is a wake-up call for everyone: Just because you don’t stand with someone, doesn’t give you the right to bring them down. Just because you have different values, goals, and ideas than someone, doesn’t give you the right to pick on them. Just because someone’s favorite color is green, and your’s is blue, doesn’t make them any less than you. Just because someone thinks differently than you, doesn’t give you the right to attack them.

It’s upsetting to see the way girls name call one another: “She’s a slut.” “She’s too fat.” “She’s too skinny.” “She’s ugly." “She’s a tramp.”

The list can go on, and it can only get worse. Name calling one another gives people the idea that it is OK to talk to each other this way — that it is OK to bring people down on their brightest days. Well, guess what? It’s not. It’s not OK to hurt someone else’s feelings to make you feel better about yourself. It doesn’t make you stronger when you call someone a mean name. It makes you weak. It shows that your idea of “power” is to bring others down.

People often forget the quote, “Be kind to others, because you never know the battle they are fighting.” The person you made fun of because of their weight, could be depressed. The person you called ugly could be fighting an addiction problem. The person you called a tramp, could have just recently lost a loved one.

Just because someone puts on a smile and a brave face every day, doesn’t mean they aren’t broken on the inside. But, when someone lashes out at them simply to bring up their own self-esteem, that only breaks them even more. There is already so much evil in the world — there is no need to contribute to it. There is no need to bully someone when the world around us is already screaming “please, help.”

To the people who do get picked on, you are brave. Keep walking through your everyday life with your head held high. Keep loving what you do, and don’t let others take that away from you. The people that emotionally attack others are ugly on the inside. They look at someone who has something they don’t, and then prey on them — until they finally feel better about themselves. I hope one day those people wake up, and realize that they can love themselves without hurting others.

I wish we lived in a world where everyone could be kind to one another. There wouldn’t be name calling, and fighting but there would be peace and love. I will keep being kind to others because I never know what kind of day they’re having or what kind of life they’re living. Always be kind, because your kindness could turn someone's day around.