What A National Tragedy Can Teach Us About The Power Of Choice (Guest Post)

By Tiffany Wright

Last April marked the 20th anniversary for the Columbine High School massacre in Colorado. I know,
I’m a bit late when I mention Columbine. However, after feeding my morbid curiosity by researching
the lives behind the two school shooters – and their motives – I came to believe we can all learn a lesson
about the power of choice.

One of the shooters, Eric Harris, started a journal one year before the massacre. I found some
excerpts here from Eric’s now-defunct blog where he rants about everything that irks him. If I didn’t
know who wrote them, I would’ve passed it for the absurd tirades of a typical hormonal teenager.

His accomplice Dylan Klebold was a more interesting case study. Dylan was less focused on hatred
and more focused on personal problems like depression and suicidal tendencies. It was depression that
fueled much of his homicidal intent.

Both Harris and Klebold had been formulating their plans for a full year.

Both recorded themselves talking about how much they hated the world and wanted to destroy it.

Both of their plans originally involved detonating hand-made bombs in the school cafeteria. The
bombs would’ve wiped out over 600 people. The two boys would’ve then gunned down fleeing
survivors. By the time the reporters and police crew would arrive, the remaining bombs from the boys’
van would wipe them out. Slate sums up their motive perfectly: “they were gunning for devastating
infamy on the historical scale of an Attila the Hun.” 2 As it was, the bombs were too shoddily built to
work, so instead they stormed the school building and shot 13 people before taking their own lives.

Can you imagine harboring so much hatred that you want to destroy hundreds of people?

Yet, a contempt for our imperfect world is what perpetrates such motives and deepens the cycle of
injustice. Jordan Peterson, a clinical psychologist and author of “12 Rules for Life,” says in his book,
“People who think such things…appoint themselves supreme adjudicators of reality and find it wanting.
They are the ultimate critics”. 3 Harris and Klebold justified their negative feelings by taking revenge on a
cruel world. Both chose to act on their anger. This should remind us that we, too, have a choice on
whether we act on our negative feelings or not.

Here is one example where I struggled in choosing to let go of my anger. I was once debating a
certain hot-button topic with one particularly confrontational friend, I was on the receiving end of
mockery, shame and rudeness because of my opinions. It hurt, and I wanted to bite back.

Another example is my experience with social media. I witnessed a mob mentality against a position
that I strongly believed in. I saw so many cruel comments like,

“I hope your children die.”

“I hope you die.”

“People who believe X are f-ing retarded.”

Again, it hurt, and I wanted to bite back. And, as a sort of unhealthy defense-mechanism, I started to
think in the exact same hateful manner. The very same words that the mob spewed circulated in my
head.

“I hope they die.”

“I hope they never have children.”

“People who believe Y are f-ing retarded.”

“I hate them.”

“I hate them.”

“I HATE THEM.”

Then I realized that my thought process mimicked the “I hate everything” rant in Eric Harris’s journal,
and I immediately took a step back. I didn’t want to be embroiled in hatred. It was a miserable place. It’s
just that the urge to “bite” back was so overwhelming that I didn’t know what to do with those feelings.
So I considered: 13 innocent victims died because two angry people lashed out. Am I any better than
them if I lash out at those whom I believe wronged me?

In the end, I cut my confrontational friend out of my life, and I haven’t looked back. I cut most social
media out of my life too, and now whenever I’m bored, instead of getting fired up over a smug Reddit
post, I watch wholesome Japanese dramas to brighten my day.

Let the proles spew their hatred. I choose not to fall into the same emotional traps as they did. I
choose to raise myself higher than the haters, for the sake of my emotional health and betterment.

We can choose not to fall into a similar line of thinking as Harris and Klebold. Choose something
better. Choose to move on from hate. Think about Harris and Klebold next time you want to say or think something hurtful about someone. Think about them before you press that “reply” button on a heated
social media thread. You never know whether a simple act of hate can spiral into something you will
regret doing.

I understand. We’re primed to have emotional reactions when the world treats us unfairly or when
someone insults us. I understand, and it can be a struggle not to “bite” back. This is why, before I part, I
will leave a powerful quote for you to reflect on:

“You will continue to suffer if you have an emotional reaction to everything that is said to you. True
power is sitting back and observing everything with logic. If words control you that means that everyone
else can control you. Breathe and allow things to pass.” ~ Bruce Lee

Here are some more inspirational quotes that I have composed:

“It’s not your successes that defined you, but the bravery to pick yourself up and try one more time.”

“You haven’t failed enough until you actually succeeded.”

“Life wasn’t made to overcome you. You were made to overcome life.”

*****
Works cited:

1. CNN, Cable News Network,
http://www.cnn.com/SPECIALS/2000/columbine.cd/Pages/SUSPECTS_TEXT.htm.
2. Cullen, Dave, and Dave Cullen. “At Last We Know Why the Columbine Killers Did It.” Slate
Magazine, Slate, 20 Apr. 2004, slate.com/news-and-politics/2004/04/at-last-we-know-why-the-
columbine-killers-did-it.html.

3. Peterson, Jordan B. 12 Rules for Life. Penguin Books Ltd., 2019.

For more from the author check out her blog, Pinterest, Instagram and YouTube.

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The Liebster Award

Thank you so much to Erin over at KittyJadeblog for another nomination. She has an awesome blog about travel, lifestyle, six word stories and so much more. Do check out her blog out and I’m sure you won’t regret it.

Rules

• Thank the blogger(s) who nominated you

• Share 11 facts about yourself

• Answer the 11 questions the blogger gave to you

• Nominate  11 bloggers who deserve the award

• Create 11 original questions for the nominees to answer

• Let them know they’ve been nominated

Facts About Myself

  • I’m a Taurus
  • I love reading
  • I love travelling
  • I’m 22
  • I want to become a full time blogger eventually
  • I love makeup and everything to do with it
  • I’m a history major
  • I love animals
  • I love Star Wars
  • I have a tattoo
  • I have six piercings- all on my ears.

Questions:

When did you start blogging?

I published my first post in 2015.

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What is your ultimate inspiration for writing?

You guys- you’re always supporting me and leaving the best comments!

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One thing you regret buying?

These expensive heels I bought years ago that I kind of never wore again after prom…

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Are you a minimalist, hoarder, or something in between?

I would say something in between. I love minimalism and try to buy as little as possible but I have a weakness for makeup and books and I just can’t help but hoard them!

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Do you believe that objects can bring true happiness?

I think that depends on who you are as a person. I think for some people it truly can but for others it would bring happiness for a while but not permanent happiness.

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One thing you have always wanted to do?

Go bungee jumping!

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Do you have any favourite books at the moment?

Absolutely! I love Pride and Prejudice which is my all time favourite, I also loved Girl On The Train, Simon Vs The Homesapien Agenda and Warriors Don’t Cry.

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What is the first thought you had this morning?

Urghhh.

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Do you get frustrated with yourself when you do something wrong, or do you embrace it?

As someone who is kind of a perfectionist this is something I had a problem with. I would get really frustrated I didn’t do something perfectly but over time I have learnt to let things go more and embrace my mistakes instead.

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Where have you always wanted to go?

Bhutan or Germany.

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How often do you take photographs (places you’ve been, food you have enjoyed etc)

WAYYYYY too often. Check out my Instagram to see them!

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My Nominees

Anyone who wants to do this award should feel free to and please use the same question I was given.

For more award posts click here.

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5 Super Cute And Super Easy Hairstyles

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The Blogger Recognition Award

Thank you so much to Sierra over at allmywoes for this nomination! Be sure to check out her blog as well because her content is amazing and inspiring and I’m sure you guys will love it!

AWARD RULES:

  • Thank the nominator, and publish a post on your blog about receiving the Blogger Recognition Award. Make sure to provide a link to the nominator’s blog in your post.
  • Give a brief story of how your blog started.
  • Give two pieces of advice to new bloggers.
  • Nominate 10-15 other bloggers for this award, and inform them of their nomination.

How I Got Started

Well I had always loved writing and new that I wanted to write and one of my friends started a blog so I thought I would too because that would be the perfect way to start out and get better at writing as well as build an audience for my work.

Two Pieces Of Advice For New Bloggers

  1. Don’t give up- I know it’s slow when you start out and it’s hard to get views/likes/follows but if you put effort into it and keep posting regularly and stay active it will be worth it and your blog will grow.
  2. Be active- I literally say this all the time but I’ll say it once more- WordPress is a two way street. You have to be active on other peoples blogs for them to be active on yours. You can’t just expect people to like/follow/share/comment when you’re not doing the same.

For more advice click here.

My Nominees

Anyone who wants to do this please feel free to do so!

For more award posts click here.

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What My Anxiety Has Taught Me

Since May is Mental Health Awareness Month I thought I would spend this week sharing different types of posts that are about mental health awareness. For more posts on mental health click here.

Change is good- Even though change can be very anxiety inducing for people even those that don’t necessarily have an anxiety disorder it’s even more difficult for people that have an anxiety disorder. I personally used to hate change because it made my anxiety a lot worse but now I’ve realised that I shouldn’t let anxiety force me to maintain a routine I don’t want to maintain. Change has a lot of positives too and I need to embrace that.

Give it time- I was recently talking to a close friend of mine and we were talking about our experiences with anxiety and we both agreed that it definitely gets better over time. At first you have no idea what’s happening or how to make it better but eventually you learn what makes your anxiety worse and how to control your anxiety at least to the extent that it doesn’t disrupt your day-to-day life.

It’s not worth sacrificing having fun- For a while I let anxiety control me and my life. I stopped doing things I enjoyed just so that I wouldn’t have to face my anxiety. However, over time I have learnt to ignore the anxiety in my head and just go ahead and do what I want even if the few hours before it are anxiety filled.

Life goes on- Even though anxiety is not something that ever goes away permanently there are lots of ways that help ease and reduce it. Eventually you learn how to deal with it and life goes on for you.

For more posts on mental health click here.

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How To Help People In Your Life With Mental Health Problems

Since May is Mental Health Awareness Month I thought I would spend this week sharing different types of posts that are about mental health awareness. For more posts on mental health click here.

Just be there- Sometimes you just need someone to be there for you. Even though you may not understand what they are going through and even though you may not be able to do much to do to help it makes a huge difference just to be there for the person. Try to check up on them once in a while, invite them to things even if they decline and help them feel like they are a part of something.

Don’t try to solve their problems- Even though you are concerned about the person don’t try to tell them what to do, that their problems aren’t real or how to solve their problems. You are not in their shoes and a lot of times people telling you what to do can make the person feel even more attacked or cornered which is not something you want them to feel. Rather try to make suggestions or just be there for them to lean on.

Don’t give up on them- Even though it seems like you aren’t able to help and want to give up on them please don’t. It’s important to have someone who is there for you and there when you need them.

Don’t force them into things- A lot of times going out and doing things are not on the top of people who suffer from mental illnesses to-do list so don’t force them into situations they would be uncomfortable in. It’s okay to invite them but don’t be too insistent on things and let them decide what they want to do. This also goes for seeking help- don’t force them into it

Help them seek help- Don’t force them to get help and make them feel pressured but if you feel like this person is in a bad situation and needs help try to encourage them lovingly to seek help. There are multiple option including but not limited to therapists.

For more posts on mental health click here.

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Six Word Story

“When will it end,” he sighed.

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Travelling In Toronto- Day 2

If you haven’t read the first part of my travel posts check it out by clicking here.

First we decided to head to Starbucks to have a cup of coffee and kind of wake ourselves up which was honestly the best way to start the day.

Next we went to check out Thompson Hotel which had a gorgeous view of Toronto. It was such a gorgeous place and had an amazing view! It also had a really awesome huge bookshelf painting which I thought was super unique and cool.

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After that we walked around a little more and explored everything which is so fun to do in Toronto because there are so many unique stores everywhere with the most fascinating things. We then went for lunch to The Hogtown Vegan which had such a great and relaxing vibe.

Once we were done with lunch we headed to the bus station and headed home.

Overall it was such a fun trip and I mostly had lots of great experiences! The only thing I didn’t love was the traffic which was quite annoying sometimes but that’s to be expected in the city.

To check out day 1 click here.

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Travelling To Toronto- Day 1

As some of you who have read my earlier post know I decided to do a little bit of exploring in Toronto a few weeks back. It was an absolutely amazing experience and we had so much fun there. We were also able to try a bunch of vegan restaurants but I’ll write about those on separate posts because we had so much fun at all of them I need to review them in detail!

So when we first arrived we decided to go for an early lunch and then do a little exploring. We pretty much walked around a little bit going into random shops and looking at everything- it was more fun then it sounds I promise! Then we checked into out room and freshened up a little before we headed out again.

Then we headed to Nathan Phillips Square to check out the Toronto sign and New City Hall. It was gorgeous and the weather was beautiful so we had so much fun looking around, taking pictures and getting some fresh air.

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Then we decided to go for desert and snacks at Cosmic Treats because we were kind of hungry from the early lunch and there was still a lot of time before dinner. The area that it was in was really cool and hipstery with lots of graffiti art and really cute little restaurants and stores. If you’re ever in Toronto I would highly recommend stopping by Cosmic Treats and then taking a walk around the neighbourhood. It just has such a cool vibe.

After finishing our snacks and taking a look around the neighbourhood we decided to head to Kmart since we were looking for some Korean food we couldn’t find where we live. It was a really cute little place and we got everything we were looking for and more!

After we finished our shopping we decided to head back to the hotel to get ready for dinner. We were both really excited because we were going to this South Indian Restaurant called Udupi Palace and we hadn’t had South Indian food in months!

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After dinner we were a little tired so we decided to head back to the hotel and look around since it had a historic vault and other cool historic areas. After that we decided to head to bed since we had an early morning the next day.

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We were also able to get a really good deal on the room thanks to booking.com which I would definitely recommend checking out if you are looking to book a room anywhere.

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Quotes About Travel

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