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Do We Hang Onto Toxic Friends?

Updated on June 8, 2017

Always stay humble and kind.

In a world where we spend much of our time on the internet, and focusing less and less on our immediate surroundings, we must remember the fundamental principles of humanity.

The first is to be considerate. Take others into account before you act. For example; I realize my mother enjoys her mixed nuts and raisins. I act out of consideration by leaving just enough of her favorite snack for the following day. If there is a noticeable amount missing on one side, I spread it evenly throughout the whole container. Thus, she thinks there is more than there actually is. That’s not very considerate of me, I will admit.

But in honesty, we all exist together, and we shouldn’t do things to purposely harm another being. There’s no need to act out of spite or ignore a person (or animal) in pain. In some regions of Canada, and possibly the United States, there is this selfish movement that centers on the “I”. It’s what I want, what I care about, what I desire. If someone isn’t your immediate friend, and they are in pain or requesting money for whatever reason, you pass the responsibility to help to someone else.

In my high school, there was a young boy being bullied, he was being teased for being short- he was less than five feet tall. He had dark chocolate skin and coarse black hair. His voice was soft, timid. As a group of young boys pushed him around, and teased him, he bowed his head and laughed with them. You could see the desire to fit in. You could see his need to be accepted at the expense of his own dignity.

What he hadn’t realized was that, the people who act without considering your feelings will never truly be on your side. A girl who sat at the lunch table across from me stood up, presumably finding the scene before her ridiculous. She was mixed. Her long brown curls draped her round face. Her dark eyes blazed angrily.

She spoke, “Can you guys leave him alone?”

In a cafeteria filled with people who witnessed the bullying, she was the only that rose to the challenge. The boy’s eyes were panicked. And the tall, not bad looking kids around him shuffled uneasily. The small boy stuttered, “It’s not like that, they are my friends, but thank you.”

His hand clenched his khaki pants, he bit his lower lip. It was clear as day that he was uncomfortable with the situation. However, he hadn’t realized that there were friends waiting for him outside of that group of ignorant children. Friends that would respect him. Or maybe he felt that hanging around those intimidating boys, and laughing off their taunts and hits, allowed him to be a member of their popular group.

The girl I was with that day smiled, and said, “No problem.” She looked at the guys that loomed over him. “If you bully my brother, I will not just stand by and watch.”

That was her first time meeting the child, but she saw that we were all connected. Thus, she didn’t hesitate to defend him.

The boys collectively left the cafeteria, the shorter one trailing behind them. The girl sat down. I looked at her. I had often believed that people should fight their own battles. Through her act of kindness, I realized that helping another wasn’t all that bad. In the moment she stood up for him and their eyes met, all that was reflected in his was gratitude and appreciation.

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    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 2 months ago from Queensland Australia

      There is a very good message here, Aristotle. We need to put the welfare of others first, rather than just think of our own discomfort. Thank you for sharing this experience.