The Power Behind 13 Reasons Why

On March 31st, Netflix released an original series called 13 Reasons Why, based on the 2007 young adult novel written by Jay Asher. The show follows a high school teen, Clay Jensen, as he listens to seven double-sided cassette tapes left by a classmate who had recently killed herself. Hannah Baker recorded the 13 reasons that led to her suicide on these tapes. The show explores an emotional issue that many people tend to brush to the side. Words DO matter. Kindness MATTERS. Ever since we were kids we were taught to chant “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words can never hurt me.” But words do hurt. And they have a powerful impact.

Not only does the show bring up concern about bullying in schools, it also brings issues such as rape, sexual abuse and mental illness to a front. No one wants to talk about these things; they are painful and heartbreaking. But, bullying occurs every day in high schools across the world, and it needs to be discussed. Our generation is selfish; we constantly avoid talking about important issues in order to evade the pain that comes with them. After watching this show, I thought deeply about words I have said to people and how deeply they can impact someone. I also thought about words that have been said to me, and how powerful they were. It is so much easier to be kind and thoughtful rather than judgmental and cruel.

The show has made me come to the realization that small acts of kindness could save a life. Sitting down with someone who is by themselves could show them that they’re not alone. Standing up for someone could go such a long way. Simply smiling at someone who seems down could give them some reassurance. Giving a stranger compliment could brighten their day. Doing these small acts cost nothing yet are seen so rarely. The show really resonated with me and put into perspective how much something I say could affect someone. As cliché as it may sound, the world needs more love and less hate, and this show confirms that.