The answer is everything.
Hey, there! I finished watched 13 Reasons Why a few days back and I realized I just had to write something about it. While some people have clearly understood the message the show tried to convey, there has also been a lot of hatred towards the show. 13 Reasons Why is an adaptation of a novel of the same name written by Jay Asher, which tells us the story of young Hannah Baker and her gradual spiral into depression, resulting in suicide, leaving thirteen tapes explaining her decision.
But I’m not going to talk about the show or the criticism that it received. I’m going to talk about the message it wanted to convey and why everyone must watch the show, despite the mentally disturbing imagery.
When I was finally done with the thirteenth episode of the show, I shut my laptop and stared blankly at the wall for several minutes, unable to stop crying or shaking. There was absolutely nothing wrong with the story. It was nothing but the bitter truth about the world outside, and it’s this truth that had crashed over me like a tidal wave, leaving me disturbed and shaken. I was unable to sleep that night.
I kept thinking about all the times the characters mentioned that Hannah was ‘weak‘ for killing herself, or ‘dramatic‘ for leaving all those tapes behind for them to listen to. What they failed to understand, though, is that she kept pushing herself forward despite all the slut-shaming, bullying- and even rape. She also decided to give life ‘one last chance‘ by talking about it to the counsellor, who advised her to go about her life as though nothing had happened.
Just ask yourself how much more you can take before deciding to give up on yourself, and everything else. For everyone who says ‘Suicide is not an option,’ please stop saying that and think about the person who is going through a suicidal phase. All they need is someone to talk to, someone who can listen to them and not judge them for what they’re going through, someone who would defend them even when they’re not around. A friend- all they need is a friend.
It’s very important to understand how our words and actions are going to affect people. Even the smallest things we do- things we think are ‘harmless‘ and ‘funny,‘ can affect a person in drastic ways. Everything affects everything. We might not see it, but for a person who is impacted by what we’ve done knows exactly how it has hurt them. And you know what the worst part of all this is? You won’t even know what you’ve done until it keeps coming back to haunt you.
Maybe it’s high time we all changed for the better and learnt to be kind to people. Seriously, you guys- it takes absolutely nothing to be a nice person. And maybe, just maybe we should stop spreading rumours or believing in them altogether. If you do not know the person inside out, you do not have the privilege to just talk rubbish about them. You do not talk about anybody, irrespective of who they are.
Be supportive and kind instead. Be the light that guides the person out of their emotional darkness, don’t push them further in. Put yourself in their shoes and imagine how you’d feel if someone talked about you the way you do about them. Stand up for them and when the time comes, they’ll do it for you. If a person is damaged, be the person who can put their broken pieces back together instead of walking away.
Remember this- even the smallest act of kindness has the power to save lives.
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