Actions and Words

Being a teenager is all about learning about other people. It's about finding what makes each and every one of us unique. It's about understanding the difference between actions/words and the people they come from. People make mistakes, but making a mistake doesn't necessarily that person is terrible. You have to realize writing people off may not be the best idea. Actions and words convey a person's message.

One of the things I've learned from college is this mind-blowing thing called restorative practices. It's like the central dogma of UVM's res life department (other than being boosie as heck *splurging for no reason whatsoever aka #mylife). It's basically the idea that people work better and harder when other people do things with them instead of to or for them. It emphasizes the importance of relationships almost like birth rights in Percy Jackson. They are absolutely essential to the cause of creating a great community on campus. People listen to your suggestions or even admonishments when they respect you as a person, especially because you've built  those real relationships based on trust and truth. One of the big things that goes along with this is separating actions from perpetrators. People are still people even if they do something wrong or offend you. What said someone offended, not the person themselves. We're all looking for reasons to write people off, but there's got to be more than that. People can't just make one mistake and forever be punished for it (awkward, that's our system of capital punishment especially for stigmatized minorities) - that's not fair. I don't think anyone is inherently a bad person, people just make the wrong choices. It's the choices that are wrong, not the person as a whole. People make mistakes, people are not mistakes (y'all can quote the hell out of that). When you learn to deal with people's actions and words as opposed to completely disregarding the person as a whole - then you've reached this rare state of the understanding of cause and effect. While are responsible for their own actions and words - the problem isn't the people it's those actions and words that people upset #mindwhipped.
This semester for me has been all about learning that very lesson. That's exactly I used to do and still struggle with. I would look for any reason, any whatsoever to write people off. Do one thing wrong under my judgement and you were forever done. Things aren't so black and white, they're like all fifty shades of gray. People are more complicated by their actions and words, and while they may seem to outwardly define them, on the inside that's a lot of the time not the case. I like to think we're all really different when we're alone than when we're with other people. You should see me not super peppy, smiling or I'm nowhere near as fun but I'm pretty sure that's more like the "actual me" (whoever that may be). I feel like Matthew Lawrence in "the Other Me" (remember that cloning DCOM) with a split personality or something. The life I live does not always appear to be mine. I'm conscious of my actions and my words, but they still feel like they're coming from someone else. It's like getting trapped behind a barrier as your doppelganger walks right into your life (Bizzaro Clark, Katrina from Sabrina the Teenage Witch or even the Vampire Diaries). We're all accountable for what we say and do but I wonder why we say and do the thing we say and do - do you get it? Why are we the why we are? My theory is memories are the reasoning for our behaviors, we've been conditioned by our environments and our genetics to act in certain ways. Only when we're making conscious efforts to be different do we act out of character. It all comes back to things action and words.
Being a teenager is all about self discovery. It's about figuring out why people are who they are. How did they get to this point? What makes them tick, and what motivates them to keep going. You learn to understand people's motives for their actions and words and use those backstories to take people at face value instead of a quick dismissal method. We're such teenagers - don't ever forget it.

My blog post question for the day is ... what event has truly defined your life? I would have to say the craziness that was my days of being bullied from eight through tenth grade - those are things you never forget and it changes you.


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