13 Reasons to be Kind

It’s that time in the semester when you are overwhelmed with assignments and projects that you fall into the endless pit of binge-watching TV series. This is an accurate representation of my previous week, when I stumbled across a show which had been all over social media, and now I understand why. The show is titled “13 Reasons Why” and covers the importance of realizing bullying and the impact of every small detail which can lead to a person ending their life. Though thankfully suicide is a concept which is not too common in Armenia, or at least it is not mentioned in media often as massively occurring issue, it does not mean people should not be aware of the signs.

As someone who went to high school in Armenia as an international student, I can assure you that bullying exists either verbal or physical. Thankfully, most of the time it is not to the extent which occurs in other countries, but it has become a normalized concept here as well.

The entire plot of the series relies on not whether the victim was too weak to end their life, or that the external forces were responsible in killing this person, rather that the concept of humiliating and discriminating has become normal. We assume that when you are a teenager, it is alright to hate on others or say rude things to them. Parents and teachers will tell you to “take it easy” or “it will pass in a few years”, but why do we let this remain normal?

We see young boys fighting in the streets and think “it’s okay, it’s a sign of their masculinity that they fight,” but we fail to understand that they have emotions as well. We have no idea what they are feeling on the inside, and fighting should not be a normal right of passage into adulthood if that is what we consider it to be, or use it as an excuse to avoid the problem.

Though a person does not result in suicide, these reoccurring events affect their self-esteem and mental health in one way or another, which may pass into their adult life as well. It is a shame that similar messages are not spread in Armenia reality, as the rest of the world is slowly becoming aware, we must be a part of that as well.

You don’t have to like everyone, or everything that they do, but we can at least find it in ourselves to respect them and move on. You can never be sure what another is feeling either on the inside, or when they go home to their everyday lives.

-Tatevik Kyurkchyan



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