“We need to… kick start a revolution. We need to get a chain reaction going here!”
– Eric Harris, Columbine Shooter
“I have this theory that if one person can go out of their way to show compassion, then it will start a chain reaction of the same.”
– Rachel Scott, Columbine Victim
Who inspires you?
I’ve suffered the longest bout of writers block I’ve ever suffered, and thought how better to get back into the swing of things than to share the words of someone who inspires me, who has left an impact on me and planted seeds of thinking that have never entirely gone away.
I never met Rachel Scott, but I was inspired by the difference in these two statements, which were made in March of 1999 before the Columbine school shootings.
As her father said in an interview, it was like Rachel and Eric were laying down a double challenge to their entire generation.
Where Eric wanted to start a chain reaction of pain and fear, Rachel saw warmth and light. Her death amplified her words and started a ripple effect that has been felt around the world in the form of Rachel’s Challenge, a series of motivating programs and strategies dedicated to making a lasting impact in the community through random acts of kindness, much like the principle of Pay It Forward.
Below is the full essay her statement was taken from, written just one month before the Columbine tragedy. Eric’s statement was made in a video he filmed prior to the shootings.
Ethics vary with environment, circumstances, and culture. In my own life, ethics play a major role. Whether it was the way I was raised, the experiences I’ve had, or just my outlook on the world and the way things should be. My biggest aspects of ethics include being honest, compassionate, and looking for the best and beauty in everyone.
I’ve been told repeatedly that I trust people too easily, but I find that when I put my faith and trust in people when others would not dare to, they almost never betray me. I would hope that people would put that same faith in me. Trust and honesty is an investment you put in people; if you build enough trust in them and show yourself to be honest, they will do the same in you. I value honesty so much, and it is an expectation I have of myself. I will put honesty before the risk of humiliation, before selfishness, and before anything less worthy of the Gospel truth. Even in being honest and trustworthy, I do not come off cold and heartless. Compassion and honesty go hand in hand, if enough of each is put into every situation. I admire those who trust and are trustworthy.
Compassion is the greatest form of love humans have to offer. According to Webster’s Dictionary, compassion means a feeling of sympathy for another’s misfortune. My definition of compassion is forgiving, loving, helping, leading, and showing mercy for others. I have this theory that if one person can go out of their way to show compassion, then it will start a chain reaction of the same. People will never know how far a little kindness can go.
It wasn’t until recently that I learned that the first, the second, and the third impressions can be deceitful of what kind of person someone is. For example, imagine you had just met someone, and you speak with them three times on brief everyday conversations. They come off as harsh, rude, stubborn, and an ignorant person. You base your judgment on just these three encounters. Let me ask you something…did you ever ask them what their goal in life is, what kind of past they came from, did they experience love, did they experience hurt, did you look into their soul and not just their appearance? Until you know them and not just their “type,” you have no right to shun them. You have not looked for their beauty, their good. You have not seen the light in their eyes. Look hard enough and you always find a light, and you can even help it grow, if you don’t walk away from those three impressions first.
I know that my codes of life may be different from yours, but how do you know that trust, compassion, and beauty will not make this world a better place to be in and this life a better one to live? My codes may seem like a fantasy that can never be reached, but test them for yourself, and see the kind of effect they have in the lives of people around you. You just may start a chain reaction.
One of the things I used to love about blogging was the positive ripple effect of seeing my words bring joy, happiness and laughter, the new friends I made and the new social media skills I gained.
I re-read this essay recently and got inspired to start blogging again after a 2 year hiatus. I may not be able to keep up the full schedule I had before, but be sure to subscribe for email updates or check back here because I will be commenting on all things pop culture again.
I’m so out of the loop that I’m not even sure what fandoms to focus on. Any suggestions?
And who inspires you?