As I was walking, I saw
a bunch of kids running toward him. They ran at him, knocking all his books
out of his arms and tripping him so he landed in the dirt. His glasses
went flying, and I saw them land in the grass about ten feet from him.
He looked up and I saw this terrible sadness in his eyes. My heart
went out to him. So, I jogged over to him and as he crawled around
looking for his glasses, and I saw a tear in his eye. As I handed him his
glasses, I said, "Those guys are jerks. They really should get lives."
He looked at me and said, "Hey thanks!"
There was a big smile on his face. It was one of those smiles that showed
real gratitude. I helped him pick up his books, and asked him where
he lived. As it turned out, he lived near me, so I asked him why
I had never seen him before. He said he had gone to private school
I would have never hung out with
a private school kid before. We talked all the way home, and I carried
his books. He turned out to be a pretty cool kid. I asked him
if he wanted to play football on Saturday with me and my friends.
He said yes.
We hung all weekend and the more
I got to know Kyle, the more I liked him. And my friends thought the same
of him. Monday morning came, and there was Kyle with the huge stack
of books again. I stopped him and said, "you are gonna really build
some serious muscles with this pile of books everyday!"
He just laughed and handed me half
Over the next four years, Kyle and
I became best friends. When we were seniors, began to think about
college. Kyle decided on Georgetown, and was going to Duke.
I knew that we would always be friends, that the miles would never be a
problem. He was going to be a doctor, and I was going for business
on a football scholarship. Kyle was valedictorian of our class. I
teased him all the time about being a nerd. He had to prepare a speech
for graduation. I was so glad it wasn't me having to get up there
Graduation day, I saw Kyle.
He looked great. He was one of those guys that really found himself
during high school. He filled out and actually looked good in glasses.
He had more dates than me and all the girls loved him! Boy, sometimes
I was jealous. Today was one of those days. I could see that
he was nervous about his speech. So, I smacked him on the back and
said, "Hey, big guy, you'll be great!"
He looked at me with one of those
looks (the really grateful one) and smiled. "Thanks," he said.
As he started his speech, he cleared
his throat, and began "Graduation is a time to thank those who helped
you make it through those tough years. Your parents, your teachers, your
siblings, maybe a coach... but mostly your friends. I am here to
tell all of you that being a friend to someone is the best gift you can
give them. I am going to tell you a story."
I just looked at my friend with
disbelief as he told the story of the first day we met. He had planned
to kill himself over the weekend. He talked of how he had cleaned
out his locker so his Mom wouldn't have to do it later and was carrying
his stuff home. He looked hard at me and gave me a little smile.
"Thankfully, I was saved. My friend saved me from doing the unspeakable."
I heard the gasp go through the
crowd as this handsome, popular boy told us all about his weakest moment.
I saw his mom and dad looking at me and smiling that same grateful smile.
Not until that moment did I realize it's depth.
Never underestimate the power of
your actions. With one small gesture you can change a person's life.
For better or for worse. God puts us all in each other's lives to
impact one another in some way. Look for good in others.
Each day is a gift from God!
Don't forget to say, "Thank you!"
know who wrote this story or whether this story is true or not. But,
I do know that the way other students treat each other, can make a difference
in living or not living for some kids.
was assaulted inside his school by a bully.
It changed the course of his life and led to his suicide. Chris was teased
incessantly by other students, shoved in a locker and harassed the first
four days of seventh grade. After his fourth day of school he came home
went into his basement and died by suicide. April
missed 53 days of school because she couldn't stand to go to school and
be continually harassed by other students. She died by suicide after giving
up trying to get help from counselors at her school. These stories
are true and those students who bullied Jared, Chris, and April, sadly
made a deadly difference in their victims' life.
way to prevent this sad type of suicide is for Administrators, Counselors,
and Teachers to promote and demand kindness and caring amongst young students,
teaching this philosophy from Kindergarten to Twelfth Grade. Students
who feel it necessary to mistreat others should be immediately suspended
from school - let their parents home school them for the rest of the year.
If the schools can't make them change maybe their parents can. And,
if the parents can't change their behavior than maybe reform school, intensive
counseling, and good old fashioned hard volunteer or mandated work will.
"A wife who loses a husband
is called a widow.
A husband who loses a wife
is called a widower.
A child who loses his or
her parents is called an orphan.
But, in Yiddish they say
there is no word for a parent who loses a child.
That's how awful the loss
~Jay Neugeboren, An Orphan's
HEAR JARED'S VOICE
- PLAY - From
an interview with Pasco School District investagators concerning the assault.
This is a recording of a recording and it isn't real clear, but worth the
download effort. Jared had a real mellow voice.
Note: If you have a slow load wav, wait for it to load entirely and then
play again from the start. - 5 minutes long