It’s bothering me. A lot. Enough to make me write for the first time in a long time.
Why? Because she had to die before anyone paid attention to her, she had to die before her voice was heard, and she had to die before anyone gave her any sympathy. Therefore, this potentially means that if she didn’t take her own life, no one would’ve known her story. And even those that may have known would still do nothing about it. Everyone would just go on with their lives thinking that nothing was wrong. Someone should not have to take their own life just to make sure their story is being heard.
But there’s something that’s bothering me more. It’s the fact that since I wasn’t part of the solution, it means that I was part of the problem…. and that the majority of people trying to raise awareness about her death, like myself, are also part of the problem.
Why? Because even though I didn’t know the girl, I am partially responsible for her death. Because I haven’t done anything intentional - to purposely go out of my way to prevent bullying. Because when was the last time I purposely spent time with someone who was maybe more “socially awkward?” When was the last time I went out of my way to get to know someone that “everyone hated?”
The answer is appalling. “I don’t know.” And if I had to predict, that would be the answer of the majority of average teenagers today.
Because of this campaign, many are choosing to wear pink the following Monday to raise awareness for Amanda’s death. But frankly, I believe that is one of the stupidest things to do. Bash me if you want, but hear me out. Wearing pink may raise awareness for the problem of bullying, but it does NOTHING to FIX the problem. It just gives a person the false sense that they are doing something to stop bullying, when it reality nothing really changes. You’re wearing pink for one day: how is that going to change the fact that there’s someone out there being bullied, feeling depressed, and standing alone? If anything, this whole “pink day” campaign is just one giant cure for the guilt of those who probably won’t actually do anything different than just wearing pink on Monday.
So instead of wearing pink, I’ll decide to talk to someone who I may have judged wrongly. Or maybe I’ll talk to someone during lunch who’s sitting alone - whether I know them or not. Awkward? Yes. Abnormal? Definitely. But look at what just happened as a result of everyone just living a “normal” life without intention.
I’ll choose to be active, to do something, to make a change. Instead of just standing there passively dressed in a feminine neon colour.
And yes, this is an invitation to do the same.
RIP Amanda Todd