To The Person Who Said Those Horrible Things From Behind The Safety Of A Screen

To The Person Who Said Those Horrible Things From Behind The Safety Of A Screen

You can disagree with someone and still act like a decent human being. It's not that hard to show some respect for others.
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Bullying. It's a word we all know very well, as it has sadly become a large topic of conversation in this day in time. Some of us may have been lucky enough to never experience it, but others have been not so fortunate.

I have experienced this type of harsh name calling, degrading way of getting your point across, especially since becoming a writer for Odyssey Online. Of course, it is expected that, when writing for such a well-known platform, you will experience "haters." People who have nothing better to do with their time than tear others down behind the safety of a screen. Social media makes it all too easy, since you never have to face the person you're being horrible to and you can even hide behind fake profiles.

When I write about things on here, I don't write to be liked. I don't write with the expectation that everyone will agree with my opinion on things, because that would simply be naive. However, I was always raised to respect other's opinions, no matter how much they differ from my own. Some folks weren't raised that way. I always try to throw in every article I write a little disclaimer stating that the there is nothing wrong with disagreeing with me. I am never saying my opinion is right. Because technically, opinions can't be right. THEY ARE OPINIONS. Some people can't handle respecting others. Maybe it takes too much maturity? Maybe it's entertaining to them to hurt others? I have no idea, but it needs to stop.

Thankfully, I consider myself decently strong-minded. I have been blessed with a wonderful support system of friends, family, and significant other. Others? Not so blessed. I can handle the rude comments, the name calling, and just the downright horrible stuff that should be reported. But some people? They can't. You never truly know what someone else is going through, and for you people to blatantly disrespect and bully someone you've never laid eyes on, in the most cowardly way possible, behind a computer screen? Let's just say that if a judgment day ever comes, y'all have some explaining to do.

I welcome other's opinions with open arms. By all means, if you completely and totally disagree with everything in one of my articles, let me know. BUT, do it respectfully, and act like a decent person. You do not know me. You have no right to call me stupid, worthless, naive, juvenile, or especially vulgar words when you have no idea who I am. And if all else fails, I like to go back to what my mama always taught me, "If you can't say nothing nice, KEEP YOUR MOUTH SHUT."

This doesn't just go for me and other Odyssey creators, either. This is for anyone. That girl who loves to sing and posts a video of her singing on YouTube, and you may not think it sounds the best. She does not need your negativity. The extra curvy girl that wants to show off her new bikini. Don't you dare. The guy that loves politics and posts every CNN article with his opinion on HIS page, sure you can disagree, but DO NOT tear him down and call him stupid because he believes differently than you.

We are all God's children and He loves us equally. And if that's not what you believe then you can at least agree on the Golden Rule; treat others how you would like to be treated. Not one of us has any right to tear down someone else. Not one of us is better than someone else. We are all different for a reason, and I believe as decent human beings, we can all agree to disagree and respect one another.

RANT OVER.

Cover Image Credit: 123rf

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Sorry Not Sorry, My Parents Paid For My Coachella Trip

No haters are going to bring me down.
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With Coachella officially over, lives can go back to normal and we can all relive Beyonce’s performance online for years to come. Or, if you were like me and actually there, you can replay the experience in your mind for the rest of your life, holding dear to the memories of an epic weekend and a cultural experience like no other on the planet.

And I want to be clear about the Beyonce show: it really was that good.

But with any big event beloved by many, there will always be the haters on the other side. The #nochella’s, the haters of all things ‘Chella fashion. And let me just say this, the flower headbands aren’t cultural appropriation, they’re simply items of clothing used to express the stylistic tendency of a fashion-forward event.

Because yes, the music, and sure, the art, but so much of what Coachella is, really, is about the fashion and what you and your friends are wearing. It's supposed to be fun, not political! Anyway, back to the main point of this.

One of the biggest things people love to hate on about Coachella is the fact that many of the attendees have their tickets bought for them by their parents.

Sorry? It’s not my fault that my parents have enough money to buy their daughter and her friends the gift of going to one of the most amazing melting pots of all things weird and beautiful. It’s not my fault about your life, and it’s none of your business about mine.

All my life, I’ve dealt with people commenting on me, mostly liking, but there are always a few that seem upset about the way I live my life.

One time, I was riding my dolphin out in Turks and Cacaos, (“riding” is the act of holding onto their fin as they swim and you sort of glide next to them. It’s a beautiful, transformative experience between human and animal and I really think, when I looked in my dolphin’s eye, that we made a connection that will last forever) and someone I knew threw shade my way for getting to do it.

Don’t make me be the bad guy.

I felt shame for years after my 16th birthday, where my parents got me an Escalade. People at school made fun of me (especially after I drove into a ditch...oops!) and said I didn’t deserve the things I got in life.

I can think of a lot of people who probably don't deserve the things in life that they get, but you don't hear me hating on them (that's why we vote, people). Well, I’m sick of being made to feel guilty about the luxuries I’m given, because they’ve made me who I am, and I love me.

I’m a good person.

I’m not going to let the Coachella haters bring me down anymore. Did my parents buy my ticket and VIP housing? Yes. Am I sorry about that? Absolutely not.

Sorry, not sorry!

Cover Image Credit: Kaycie Allen

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Death Is Inevitable, So Live Every Moment To The Fullest

Just because our mortal lights will be snuffed out doesn't mean we shouldn't light the match.
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I saw the Rutgers production of "Der Mond" recently and I find it's sticking with me. Not particularly because of the production itself (although it was amazing and everyone did a great job) but more so because of it's message; no matter what we do, whether we live a sublime or squalid life, we all die. While obvious, this statement is astoundingly profound. It brings attention to the uncomfortable fact that we are mortals, that our planet will not be here forever. It can turn on that grim mental tape recorder that whispers in your ear, why are you still trying? Nothing matters.

But yet, here we are toiling away at our coursework, at our jobs, building friendships and relationships and networking. For some reason, we still try. It's amazing actually. People could slough off all responsibilities and spend time doing whatever they please because, in the end, everyone dies anyway right? But we don't. Why is that?

I do not claim to be a philosopher or any other title that would give me the jurisdiction to make such conclusions about why we humans continue to strive and try and work and dream. Truthfully, all this feels beyond my ken. But, I can offer is what I've noticed during my 20 years on this planet.

In my opinion, life doesn't matter. Moments do. Those little moments when you make a friend smile or get an A (or a passing grade because let's be real, passing feels good too) on an exam you studied so hard for or you win an athletic event or you play your heart out for a performance or you go to a concert with your friends or you kiss your significant other or you just take a walk and stare at a really beautiful tree. And even seemingly bad things can be moments too. Failing is an opportunity for growth and losing is an opportunity to reevaluate and create a new strategy.

So yes, no matter what we do, we will all die one day. But just because our mortal lights will be snuffed out, should not stop us from lighting the match. Do we refuse to light a Christmas tree (or insert whatever religious/spiritual thing you do) because we eventually have to take it down? No. Each moment is a spark waiting to set us ablaze. We just have to open our eyes and see it and ready our wicks to catch it.

Cover Image Credit: Maya Vadell

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