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January 9, 2013
Jeremiah is a high school student who helps spread kindness through social media.
Recently I was in the lunch line trying to decide what to get, and a girl I was not familiar with came up to me and gave me a hug. She had tears in her eyes so I asked her what was up. She told me that one day she was planning on killing herself.
That afternoon she got on her computer to write a suicide note but when she went to her Facebook page she saw that Westhigh Bros had posted on her wall. She saw our post and decided life wasn’t as bad as she thought and that she actually did have a role in the world.
The point of this story is not self-promotion, rather I used it to illustrate the power of a positive word. None of the people on the account had any idea that she had planned to kill herself that night. Fortunately, that was just chance. Unfortunately it can be hard to predict if someone is going to do something to hurt themselves or others and that’s why it is so important we make sure we are always kind and supportive with one-another.
We at Westhigh Bros thought about how all the bad words and actions could be reduced at our school. We figured the root of the problem was that people often act impulsively – sadness and anger are not bad, per se, but what someone can do with his or her anger or sadness can be bad. We think the “solution” is to reduce that impulse, and to take time to just think about what’s going on and what you’re going to do. This is the concept behind “Breathe in, breathe out” or BIBO, that we started at our school.
We’ve started telling people to “BIBO”: take a big breath in and big breath out and think about what happened to them and try to calm down. We hope that BIBO becomes an easy way for people to remember that life goes on, that there are 7 billion people in the world and they can’t let one person ruin their life, and to not make decisions based solely on a feeling in one moment. Let’s hope one day the world becomes a better place.
Jeremiah Anthony is a junior in high school who runs a Twitter and Facebook account, Westhigh Bros, with friends. They are in the business of giving compliments . He is a self-proclaimed "normal kid in a world, who likes seeing the beauty in people."
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