14th January, 2015. 2:52pm
Today, the Daily Prompt’s “Connect the Dots” asks:
Open your nearest book to page 82. Take the third full sentence on the page, and work it into a post somehow.
As I’m still reading Amy Zhang’s Falling Into Place, I’m going to be tackling that book for the prompt. On page 82, the third full sentence goes, “Some nights, Liz looked back and counted the bodies, all those lives she had ruined simply by existing.” The prompt simply asked to take the third sentence, but I’m going to include the fourth sentence, which is, “So she chose to stop existing.”
Falling Into Place is a story about a girl named Liz Emerson, one of Meridian High School’s most popular girls who committed suicide by crashing her car off the road. If you’re gonna think about it, you’d probably wonder why would someone as popular as Liz commit suicide? What did she mean by “looking back and counting the bodies whose lives she ruined simply by existing?” How does this relate to our daily lives?
Last December, I was supposed to write a blog post about how people can be so mean to celebrities online (Twitter and Youtube, especially). I was inspired by a tweet sent by one of Demi Lovato’s followers after she shared a photo of herself holding a paper for a sponsor thing. Among the first comments, one of the tweeps said one word: FAT. I wasn’t shocked by the comment, but what made my jaw dropped was the fact that it came from nowhere.
I thought long and hard about what made the person say that, because quite honestly, I don’t think she looked fat in the photo. But that’s just the icing on the cake. I’m pretty sure many other celebrities get mean tweets and comments all the time. I know it’s somewhat part of their job, but it seems that everyone forget that they’re still just humans, too, and are capable of getting hurt.
It’s not surprising that many of them feel depressed. The people who praise them and put them high on a pedestal are sometimes the ones that drag them down to their grave. But for us “ordinary” people, have we taken a bit of our time to reflect about how our words and actions affect other people? Not just to famous people, but to everyone around us? Have we ever stopped to wonder how those spiteful words we say online or in person impact someone else, for the rest of their life even? Probably not.
In Falling Into Place, Liz Emerson had a classmate in her former school who was bullied. A few months after she transferred to Meridian High, she read on the news that the same girl was found dead on her own bathtub and that the police suspected a suicide. Back when Liz was still classmates with the girl, Liz was one of the students who tormented the girl, despite knowing deep down that her actions were wrong. Even if she wanted to, she didn’t stand up against the bully; she was in on the joke. Would the girl still commit suicide had Liz decided to stand up against the bully? Maybe. Maybe not.
The point is, if we just stop for one second to think about the words that will come out of our mouths before we actually say them out loud, maybe we would prevent the other person from choosing to stop existing. And perhaps if we can only reflect on how our actions affect other people, we wouldn’t have to wonder about the things that we should have done that we didn’t do.