If You Can’t Say Something Nice, Don’t Say Anything at All

If You Can’t Say Something Nice, Don’t Say Anything at All

A Rant About Just Acting Like A Decent Human Being.
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Remember when we were children and we were told by countless sources – our first grade teachers, our parents, a little rabbit in Disney’s Bambi – that if we, even for a fathomable second, could not find a single nice word to say; then to not say anything at all? This advice – intended for us to make friends and not burn bridges at the tender age of five – was at the forefront of our minds in everything we did. We never thought for a minute that everyone who had ever given us that advice might have been guilty of it at some point in their life. We listened to it, or at least in some instances, pretended we did.

Then one day, we wake up and forget that little piece of advice. Something lights a fire within us so hot, so intense that we go back on our teachings of ‘just being nice.’ Somehow with puberty and the advent of social media – and maybe even a lack of empathy – folks in our millennial generation make remarks with no regard for another’s feelings. Not even the bat of an eyelash. And I’ve got to say; it’s getting really old.

The older we get the more we hear things like, “Nice guys finish last,” and “Being nice never got you anywhere,” but have you ever actually known that to be the case? Those clichés are nothing more than tired excuses for being callous and uncouth.

Now, maybe I’m out of line. Maybe I’m just naïve. But I really don’t understand how anyone could not have any clue that their words affect people, or not have any clue that the things they have said or will say are hurtful; or not even care that they hurt someone, for that matter.

We live in a society where even if you greet or compliment someone you hardly know or don’t know at all, you’re looked at like you’ve got three heads. As if to say, “How dare you say something nice to me? You hardly know me!” Are we so immune to niceties that we are, dare I say, offended by them?

What changes in that span of time between adolescence and adulthood that gives us the apparent right to be indecent to another human being? Do we get so hardened with life that it makes no difference if we’re nice, petty, complimentary, or offensive, anymore?

Now, let me all ask you a different question, what is so hard about being nice? About keeping harsh, hurtful words and phrases out of your vocabulary? Maybe your defense is, ‘that’s a childish notion; saying nice things or nothing at all.’ Maybe your defense is, ‘they were mean to me first’ or ‘they started it.’ Well, is that not one of the most childish things you’ve ever heard?

Use that childish advice; practice it in your daily lives. I am so sick of seeing rude responses to rightful opinions and shaming (from body to dog) on Facebook, reading mean tweets, and even hearing someone call another person a name on live TV or in a classroom at college. Chances are, if you’re reading this, you’re a grown and capable adult. Making excuses for being impolite or saying something hurtful is a child’s excuse; an excuse for someone who does not know better.

It really is so simple to just be nice, or to just keep negative comments to yourself. I know for some people it’s easier said than done, but once we start, it won’t be so unheard of for someone to give a perfect stranger a compliment as they walk down the street. It begins with us, practicing what we’ll preach to our future kids, or else the vicious cycle will continue.

So, just to beat it in your head once more:

Cover Image Credit: Todd McKimmey

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31 Reasons Why I Would NEVER Watch Season 2 Of '13 Reasons Why'

It does not effectively address mental illness, which is a major factor in suicide.
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When I first started watching "13 Reasons Why" I was excited. I had struggled with depression and suicidal thoughts for a long time and thought this show would be bringing light to those issues. Instead, it triggered my feelings that I had suppressed.

With season two coming out soon, I have made up my mind that I am NEVER watching it, and here is why:

1. This show simplifies suicide as being a result of bullying, sexual assault, etc. when the issue is extremely more complex.

2. It does not effectively address mental illness, which is a major factor in suicide.

3. The American Foundation of Suicide Prevention has guidelines on how to portray suicides in TV shows and movies without causing more suicides.

"13 Reasons Why" disregarded those guidelines by graphically showing Hannah slitting her wrists.

4. It is triggering to those who have tried to commit suicide in the past or that struggle with mental illness.

5. It glorifies suicide.

6. It does not offer healthy coping solutions with trauma and bullying.

The only "solution" offered is suicide, which as mentioned above, is glorified by the show.

7. This show portrays Hannah as dramatic and attention-seeking, which creates the stereotype that people with suicidal thoughts are dramatic and seeking attention.

8. Hannah makes Clay and other people feel guilty for her death, which is inconsiderate and rude and NOT something most people who commit suicide would actually do.

9. This show treats suicide as revenge.

In reality, suicide is the feeling of hopelessness and depression, and it's a personal decision.

10. Hannah blames everyone but herself for her death, but suicide is a choice made by people who commit it.

Yes, sexual assault and bullying can be a factor in suicidal thoughts, but committing suicide is completely in the hands of the individual.

11. Skye justifies self-harm by saying, "It's what you do instead of killing yourself."

12. Hannah's school counselor disregards the clear signs of her being suicidal, which is against the law and not something any professional would do.

13. The show is not realistic.

14. To be honest, I didn't even enjoy the acting.

15. The characters are underdeveloped.

16. "13 Reasons Why" alludes that Clay's love could have saved Hannah, which is also unrealistic.

17. There are unnecessary plot lines that don't even advance the main plot.

18. No one in the show deals with their problems.

They all push them off onto other people (which, by the way, is NOT HEALTHY!!!).

19. There is not at any point in the show encouragement that life after high school is better.

20. I find the show offensive to not only me, but also to everyone who has struggled with suicidal thoughts.

21. The show is gory and violent, and I don't like that kind of thing.

22. By watching the show, you basically get a step-by-step guide on how to commit suicide.

Which, again, is against guidelines set by The American Foundation of Suicide Prevention.

23. The show offers no resources for those who have similar issues to Hannah.

24. It is not healthy for me or anyone else to watch "13 Reasons Why."

25. Not only does the show glorify suicide, but it also glorifies self-harm as an alternative to suicide.

26. Other characters don't help Hannah when she reaches out to them, which could discourage viewers from reaching out.

27. Hannah doesn't leave a tape for her parents, and even though the tapes were mostly bad, I still think the show's writers should have included a goodbye to her parents.

28. It simplifies suicide.

29. The show is tactless, in my opinion.

30. I feel like the show writers did not do any research on the topic of suicide or mental illness, and "13 Reasons Why" suffered because of lack of research.

31. I will not be watching season two mostly because I am bitter about the tastelessness.

And I do not want there to be enough views for them to make a season three and impact even more people in a negative way.

If you or someone you know is contemplating suicide, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255.
Cover Image Credit: Netflix

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7 Reasons To Get Excited For The Orlando Fringe Festival

Aside from the obvious draw of 100+ shows to choose from, there are so many more reasons to check it out.
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The Orlando Fringe Festival is a two-week performing arts extravaganza featuring all kinds of acts from this city and others. It is also the longest-running theater festival in the United States, so it’s had plenty of time to get great. If you want the basics on how to attend, there is an article in the Orlando Sentinel that breaks it down for first-timers. But as we gear up for what is basically Coachella for theater nerds, here are just a few more things to get jazzed about.

1. You’ll finally be able to support your artist friends.

We all have that friend who is constantly involved in some sort of production. Of course you’d love to go and see them all, but who has the time? At Fringe, there are plenty of chances to see a show, since there are performances at many different times for two weeks. And if you have a lot of friends who are performers in Orlando, then I have good news! They will all be in the same place.

2. Two words: food trucks.

There is pretty much no other time when it is socially acceptable to eat a bunch of fried Oreos than at a carnival or at Fringe. Carnivals seem dangerous though, so you might as well just hang out at Fringe, where it’s safe.

3. There’s something for everyone.

Even if theater isn’t your thing, there are more than just a few alternative options available. You can also find concerts, stand up comedy, storytelling, and a whole lot of things that will make you say, “I didn’t know that was a thing."

4. This year, planning is easy.

In their 27th year, the Orlando Fringe has introduced a new way to plan which shows to see. The Fringe-o-Matic allows you to input the shows you’re interested in and create a personalized schedule so you can make it to (almost) all of them.

5. You’ll never have to travel far.

Most of the shows at Fringe are located in or around Loch Haven Park, and venues include the Orlando Shakespeare Theater, the Orlando Repertory Theatre and the Orlando Museum of Art. These are all within walking distance of each other, and are separated only by a parking lot (which, by the way, is free to use). The only other shows are BYOV, or Bring Your Own Venue, in multiple locations in Orlando.

6. It’s not just local acts.

Maybe if you’re an Orlando native, you’re a little tired of the local scene. This festival includes production companies from lots of other states and countries, so it’s a great opportunity to see fresh faces and shows that are the best of their respective locale.

7. Things will get weird.

Even if you’re a veteran Fringe-goer, you’re definitely in for a quite a few surprises. Last year, I saw a Canadian male burlesque troupe led by a Justin Trudeau impersonator (caution: link NSFW), and it wasn’t even the craziest thing that happened.


The Orlando Fringe Festival runs from May 15th to the 28th, so it’s right around the corner. It’s all happening so fast! But if you’re not hyped yet, maybe you should take a trip to the beer tent.

Cover Image Credit: Orlando Fringe

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