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Don't take friendships for granted

Friendship is an amazing thing. To find someone you love and cherish, you aren't related to, and with whom you can talk to and enjoy time with, it's almost rare to find an amazing friend like that. Sometimes people forget that everyone around them is special. Between bullying and flat-out not caring, the world is slowly losing the value of human life.

No, this isn't another lecture about how wrong bullying is (although I do agree that ?bullying is horrible and needs to be stopped), this is about regaining the love people should be sharing with one another. If not love, a common respect to show to those around you. Earlier this spring, there was a car accident in which a young girl died. It was big news for a week but it faded as something new and more exciting came along, and that's just how the news works. But ask yourself this, when you hear about an accident that results in a fatality, are you thankful it wasn't your best friend that lost his or her life? You should be.

Despite the new and sensational news that comes out daily, everyone needs to reflect upon the old news once in a while. Think about how you felt then, how you feel now and why you feel that way. We can't just forget about the tragedies that pop up in the news, because the only way to progress is to learn and build from the past. So learn from their deaths. Before you jump into a car with someone, think about it. Weigh the consequences, and be smart. Before you tell someone to stop complaining about how unloved or unattractive they feel on Facebook, consider saying, "You're beautiful," or even send a simple message saying "Hey, I'm here if you need to talk." Be sincere, and you could save a life. Before you call someone a name, think about what might be going on in his or her life at the moment. Above all, before you assume you know what's going on with that particular person, know that you have no idea.

The girl you were about to call ugly and stupid may be abused at home. Maybe her best friend doesn't even know. Everyone has secrets and it's impossible to know what is going on in anyone's mind, even those closest to you. Now you're wondering what secrets has your best friend not divulged to you? "We tell each other everything!" Instead of sitting at home, trying to figure out what secrets everyone around you has, go tell your best friend you love him. Go give your sibling a hug. You don't need to explain yourself. You don't even need to elaborate. Just one small gesture can make someone feel like maybe, just maybe, the world isn't against them. And when you feel backed into a corner, knowing someone is there with you and feeling like he or she wants to be there, that's half the battle.

The point I'm trying to make is that, in the words of Dr. Seuss, "a person's a person, no matter how small." Cherish the lives around you and love deeply. Be happy you have your best friends. Laugh with them. Smile with them. Make amazing memories. Don't let silly fights hold your friendship in a cage, and don't go a day without telling someone how much they mean to you. You never know when it might be your last chance.

Hannah Gordon is a junior at Immaculata Academy.?