Monday, April 19, 2010

4/19/10 :: Giving Back

I've always lived a pretty hedonistic lifestyle. For the most part, if I've wanted to do something-- I've done it. I've never taken an interest in politics, church, community, etc-- mostly because I've always believed in living a life that is fully satisfying to myself and only myself. Now that graduation is coming round the bend in just a few weeks, of course I've been thinking about what I'm going to do with all the free time I have once school isn't consuming every single second of my day. I've started thinking about what interests me, what would make my time more fulfilling...

Some of the more obvious goals I am looking forward to achieving are quitting smoking and losing the college weight. One of the not-so-obvious goals is to get involved in some sort of organization. I've contemplated becoming an active member of the AIGA upon graduation, and while this is still interesting to me-- it's not exactly the most burning cause is it?

The past few weeks, a few events have been setting some wheels in motion in my head. For one, reading about the Phoebe Prince case really struck a nerve with me. Secondly, this semester especially, I've witnessed quite a few classless acts from some of my classmates in terms of respecting other people's design work.

In high school, I dealt with an enormous amount of bullying. While I know it was never fair and certainly never justified-- when multiple groups of people aim themselves at making fun of you, you have to wonder if you're doing something that might be attracting so much negative attention. I've always been outspoken and proud about who I am and what I'm doing-- and a part of me always wondered if I may have brought some of that attention upon myself. Now that those days are far behind me, I know that it doesn't matter WHAT I did in high school-- I never deserved the treatment I received from those malicious people. Much of my time in high school, I was very, very depressed and self-conscious, and a lot of my problems were directly related to the bullying that I encountered daily.

It's a sensitive subject with me. A hugely sensitive subject. It's a practice that happens in every single high school, and most of the time, the kids are too stupid to realize that their actions are really, truly hurtful to people. And even worse-- some DO realize it, and that is the pay-off.

I'd like to think that after a few years out of high school these people realized how wrong their behavior was, but in all likelihood... that's not the case. And while a million teachers and discipliners can stick their heads into the problem, I know from experience and past perspective that it really doesn't get through. The last person that is going to make a high schooler think twice about their actions is a school principal, and often, I'm sure they only make matters worse. Maybe there is someway I can use my age/experience to help others.

So anyway, this is something I think I'd like to become involved in-- some sort of anti-bullying program. Whether it's outreach to students who are dealing with it-- or talking to people who may be inflicting that kind of pain on other students. I'm lightly researching some organizations, but as of yet, I haven't found one that is asking for more than money and awareness. Two things that I don't really think do much for anyone.


I'm going to keep looking around, but I just wanted to toss it out there. Get it down on 'paper' so to speak, so I feel my thoughts become more stable.

Looking forward to a life outside of the school environment. Looking forward to doing some things that are going to be good for me-- in a less self-centered way.

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