www.whyville.net Mar 23, 2014 Weekly Issue

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Online bullying and mental health awareness has become quite the fad lately, and despite being an advocate for these, I've discovered that people are promoting awareness using an approach that causes more damage than good. Damage to mental health has hit us all hard, impairing our judgment, and leaving us feeling that a jump off a bridge is more of a serenade than a rib-crushing experience. If not dealing with a mental illness, you've probably experienced a prolonged phase of deep, undying sadness that heavies your heart and tingles in your upper area. Mental health is imperative; it is relevant, and it infinite, and that is a fact that we cannot dispute.

However, in which point of our primitive history have we decided that a lie fits better, like a plagiarized work of art you claim to be your own because your lack of self confidence does not allow you to create your own for submission? When did we all become too afraid to offend our neighbor that we glued our mouths closed and replaced personalized thoughts with generic phrases, said so often that we have left the world lacking of any innovative thought? When did the sound of our silence, non-existence, become more precious than our voice? Mental health is important, I will not deny, but why are we so afraid to speak out against each other's wrong-doings when it comes to the case of mental health? If I pulled the trigger against my friend's head because my father pulled it against my mother's, I am deemed a demon; a merciless creature unworthy of life. However, when I turn that trigger that trigger against my own head; my flaws are forgotten; I am worshiped, and I am praised as my wrong-doings are quickly twisted into a sad story.

We have become so scared of voicing our thoughts that we keep them crammed inside of us and deliberately ignore the freedom of speech until we all become metal robots; no original thought, no worth, no soul. A disheartening story does not excuse one's actions; it merely explains their reasoning. Stop telling people, "It's okay you acted out, you were having a rough time," because it's not okay. The world does not cater to our needs, in fact, we are the ones that must cater to the world. By giving people the impression that mental health justifies bad choices, we are glamorizing it, glorifying it, and opening the door to destruction for na?ve preteens who choose to cross out unicorn from their Christmas list and replace it with depression. Mental health is an illness, thus it should be treated like one. The main goal of an illness is to get rid of it; not cater it, and sadly, I've seen an extreme amount of catering in the BBS.

You may be under the impression that remaining voiceless is not adding to the problem, and that is where you are wrong. A famous quote states, "By remaining silent, you have chosen the side of the oppressor," and perhaps, the power of the oppressor shall only be revealed when we are all six-feet under, wondering why we ever wanted to be.

Stop telling people, "You are perfect," when they are sad and you're too afraid to call them out on their wrong and they're hiding behind a mental illness label, because the mere truth is; they are not perfect. We are all wrong; littered with flaws that cannot be reversed. When you tell someone that they are perfect, you are allowing them to hold on to a lie to keep them moving forward, and what happens when a thread is pulled? The lie is teared, and their happiness returns to stitches once again. Stop telling people, "Your weight is perfect," when you are aware they are dangerously under or overweight due to bad choices.

Start telling people, "No, you are not perfect. However, together we'll work to become better." Truthfully, we can never achieve perfection, so stop allowing people to raise their hopes only so that they can be shattered once more. Stop justifying online bullying by mental illness. Stop deeming a constructive piece of criticism that will allow somebody to become a better person as "online bullying". Do not be generic, afraid, and thoughtless?be moral-centered, courageous and personalize what you say. After all, you didn't live through so much only to be deemed as worthy as a piece of metal?a lifeless robot.


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