We will not be ruined.
One of the harshest mistakes you can make in life is to have the assumption that your words are meaningless. You are capable of creating something beautiful, and just as easily capable of destroying something beautiful. I know, the world has had plenty of young people determined to make a change to "end bullying", or "create a better world". It wouldn't be my place to say these things. However, I will try to just make you think. Never, ever think that the use of a cruel name, or a harsh term, even in a joking matter, will go unnoticed. I can admit that I myself have been downright disgusting. I'd like to use the excuse that's it's human nature, but truly, it is inexcusable. No matter what you may think, you never know how people handle things, or what their mind is like. As silly as it may sound, social mistreatment can ruin someone. Absolutely. I've seen this happen to many of the people closest to me, and to myself.
It is disturbingly common amongst my generation to have some sort of poison of the mind. Depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, eating disorders, and self harm addictions are no longer unusual to see amongst people. Many of these problems are heightened, and even sometimes caused by the doings of other people. Ironically, this seems to target people for more vile harassment. And when that person is going through their lives with a fake smile, suffering in silence, everything is "just a joke". Here's a brutal statement of the grim truth: people don't care until it's too late. The rate of teen suicide is at an all time high. And only then, after life has become too painful to endure, are they "beautiful", and "so incredible" and you will "miss them so much". Only then, as the school districts and camera crews start to focus on what has been done, do you see just how powerful your actions are. Personally, I'm a firm believer that the vast majority of incidents of teen suicide are nothing but indirect acts of murder.
If you take any message from this at all, I hope that it is this: do not ever assume that your words are meaningless. I encourage all of you to not let yourself be defined with the words that have been given to you throughout your lives. Do not let them be branded to your mind. Do not suffer in silence. Instead, define yourself, to be incredible. I can assure you that you are not alone in this. And you are not ruined.
Thank you to Travis Clark and We the Kings for writing such a beautiful song, and for inspiring this project. And a massive thanks to my beautiful best friends, Gillian and Helen for being incredible actors in the video, and supports when I need them.
Here's the song we played after the interview.
UPDATE 11-8-13: Taylor and Helen now claim that they have been bullied more since making the video and their complaints have gone unanswered by the school administration, including the vice principal who the girls claim told them, "if the abuse wasn't physical, it doesn't matter". He denies he said that and the superintendent of the school district is back him. Taylor says, "Who do you go to as children," Taylor Tanguay said. "When the people who are supposed to help you are going against you?"