What makes people think it's okay to do stuff like this to each other?
I posted Ellen Degeneres's tender response to Tyler's death along with that very question on my Facebook page, prompting this response from my friend, Ron Schoedel. In part, he says:
Being better than someone, anyone, feeds the ego in a way the natural man requires, which is--of course--the opposite of how we ought to be. . . [It] is the exact opposite of loving our neighbour. It is hating and fearing our neighbour.On the other hand, following the principle of "live and let live" (or the golden rule, it could be called) precludes a person from feeling superior to others. When we can learn to be humble and realize that we are all equals, we are all God's children, and that each person has the unalienable right to chart their own course in life and discover their way (to the extent that they cause no harm to others), we will not feel the need to demonstrate why someone is less important, less valuable, or less "good" than ourselves . . .
It's unbelievably sad to think the world had become so bleak for this bright young man and others like him that they couldn't see the path through it. I certainly hope that, growing up, I never did or said something to make anyone feel this way, even a little bit. But I guess I'll never know for sure. Nor is this only a function of adolescence. Adults are just as adept at picking out those who don't "fit the mold," whatever the mold may be.
At the end of the day, aren't we all just a bunch of imperfect beings, sitting in a room together? Do we really need to keep making it harder for each other? Or are Ron and I being completely naive? Well, I'd sure like to think not.
Young peeps: nobody, nobody, nobody has the right to make you feel like the odd man out. If someone is giving you a hard time, it's because they have a problem, not you. As Ellen said, things will get better. You need to stick around to see it.