Look around you, fellow Middle Schoolers. What do you notice? Other than the difference in lighting and the smell of new paint – signs of change and renovation. Not the new additions to the kiosks, however delicious they are (those Señor Pepitos and Chocos should win an award for ‘Best Food Items of 2018’, don’t you agree?). Do you see the promoting posters? No – I don’t mean the visiting authors, the new clubs, or the celebrations coming up (but the Pancake Breakfast does sound awesome). I’m talking about the kindness posters. Now, you’re probably thinking – “Not this again! I’m leaving.” Your next move is most likely going to be clicking back to the ‘HOME’ page, never again to click back on this article because of this regrettable experience. But wait up. This is important. It’s necessary. Just hold on with me for a few minutes, alright? For the sake of the Flamin’ Hot Cheetos. You won’t regret this.
Quite a lot has changed. But what hasn’t is our – Middle School students’ – approach to kindness (now don’t go fake barfing and rolling your eyes. This is important. Listen up!). We see those posters up on the walls and doors. Just a glance and a scan through the entire paper, and clanging and banging like heavy-duty machinery in a factory goes on a roll. “What a waste of paper!” “Save the trees, man!” “Not this again!” “Seriously? Are they nuts?” “How cheesy and cute. It makes me cringe just looking at it!” “You know, I’m already kind. We’re already kind. No need for improvement.” “No one’s going to listen.” “What in the world is the POINT of this?!” Alright, I’ll admit it. I may have over-exaggerated here on the quotes a bit, but this is a vague idea of how we perceive these posters and what we say about them. Like the way we sound? I sure don’t! I’m trying not to sound like a parent, but this is embarrassing, people! To be honest, I’ve said this too. I guess I have no right to say this. But that’s beside the point! The point is: there’s more to these posters than what we perceive it as. They’ve been put up for a reason, you know.
When whoever it was put these posters up, they obviously knew the risk they were taking. Think about it: how hard must it be to please us? It sure isn’t easy! They knew we were going to react the way we do, yet they still put it up. Boy does that take some persistence! Doesn’t that mean something? Let’s try and break it down. First off, we as MS students are obviously doing something wrong. And what are these posters based off of? You guessed it: kindness. So I’m going to ask something of you now. Recall the last time you were in the hallway, and you heard a comment, that, let’s break it – wasn’t so nice. Then recall the second last time. Then the third. Now go back to the start of school last semester. Recall any rude comments that were said then? Surely not as many as now. What’s going through some of our minds when we see these posters on doors and walls is, “We’re already kind. There’s nothing to improve on!” There is, though. That’s why these posters are here and I’m reporting on them. Not to bug you out and cause you to have a permanent grudge on The Direct Message so that you never visit ever again (we’re not that crazy, people!). It seems that we’ve become so accustomed to these rude comments that it’s… normal. It’s just a joke. We’re just teasing one another.
But the truth is – it isn’t just a joke. It isn’t just meant to be laughed at. Those comments that you hear in the hallways would hurt someone who isn’t used to being in the AES Middle School. But to us, as part of the Middle School – it’s normal. Isn’t there a problem there? Whoever put the posters up isn’t trying to put a ban on having a good time and sharing a few laughs with the people around you. No one is! So in order to understand what the posters really mean and the reasoning behind the posters all around us, we need to change our perception towards them and us as a Middle School. So when you hear a rude comment that others around you are laughing at, think to yourself: should I really join in? And if you’re the one about to make a comment that’s intended to be just a joke, think. If this wasn’t normal and no one was used to perceiving your comment as “just a joke”, how would they take it? How would they perceive it? These posters have been put up for a reason. Just think again.