Leave a positive footprint on the world

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The end of my road turns into an intersection with a sign posted that says, “Please do not block intersection.”

  Every morning before school, I wait at least five minutes to get out onto the White Horse Pike. Cars ignore the sign because they’re in such a rush to get to where they need to go. About ten cars begin to back up behind me and, after many long minutes, one person might be nice enough to let me out.

   On the way to school, a grey Honda turns right into the Dunkin Donuts on 561. The twenty seconds it takes the car to turn must be too long, so the car behind them zooms past and honks their horn, seeming to be majorly inconvenienced.

  With loud but unspoken words and judgement in their eyes, I notice a group of students at school belittling another kid who’s wearing pajama pants.

   In the hallways, teachers complain to one another about a specific student not turning in his work and getting a good grade in their class.

   At lunch time, students leave their trash decorating the gyms and breezeways, assuming someone else will pick it up.

   As the hallway near the guidance  department clogs, a black student belches, “These stupid white kids. I didn’t have this happen at my old school.”

  When the 200s hall backs up due to a group of 5 African American students walking at each other’s side, white kids say “those stupid black kids.”

   A mentally challenged student tries to talk to other students in the hallways and gets laughed at and mocked.

  African American students may not feel comfortable around a big group of white students, and white students may not feel comfortable around a big group of black people. If someone sees a Spanish student, they may  automatically assume that they’re an illegal immigrant.

   Does anyone bother to take the time anymore to learn one another’s stories?

   For the people we judge on a regular basis, we fail to understand that they’re just the same as us.

   That student turning into Dunkin that morning really needed a coffee because her dad went on an abusive rampage, and she didn’t get any sleep.

  The student wearing pajama pants at school only had one pair of clean pants left because his house went up in flames.

   The student being judged by the teachers is failing Spanish classbecasue he just lost his mother.

   What if the janitor that just lost has been having a really bad day and now needs to clean up a  great mess that shouldn’t have even been there in the first place?

      Those black students talking in the hallway were super excited to see each other and report great news from the weekend. One had mustered up the courage to ask his dream girl out, the other got his license, and the other just got a job.

  Despite what people assume, that student with developmental disabilities is actually able to understand conversation. He really enjoys video games and music and drawing. When he goes home every day, he gives his mom a big hug, and she cries because she sees her little boy yearning for acceptance. She cries because she wants the world to see him as she does.

   People shouldn’t put up barriers in our mind upon meeting someone for the first time just because they’re different. Meeting someone different is actually liberating because of what you can learn from them and accept what they have to offer.

  It is so easy to ask somebody about their day or get to know their story. It takes less than five seconds to say something to a stranger that might make their day.

   Anyone who knows me or has read my articles from the 2017-2018 school year knows that I possessed pretty strong political beliefs. I felt very passionately about my political stance until I realized how little it actually mattered.

   It doesn’t take much mental endurance to become more loving and open-hearted. It only takes an open heart and an open mind. Everybody struggles, no more or no less. Knowing this should make people more motivated to be kind to  one another.

  Each person is on their own journey, trying to find themselves. We’re all just humans sharing our experiences together.

What takes true strength is understanding and accepting that every person you meet is in a different part of their journey.