Rachel Joy Scott was the first of fifteen people killed in the Columbine High School tragedy on April 20, 1999. She was 17 years of age. Immediately after the tragedy, her father Darrell began to speak and used writings and drawings from Rachel’s diaries to illustrate the need for a kinder, more compassionate nation. Today, Darrell and over thirty presenters honor Rachel’s life by reaching the nation with Rachel’s simple but profound message. Her message? It’s one of kindness, of not judging others by their appearance, and trying to see the best in everyone. This is a message that I have blogged about previously and, no doubt, will blog about again and again. Below is the short essay written by Rachel detailing her heart moving message, followed by some words I found on another blog that make the points I wish to make far more eloquently than I ever could. Insha-Allah, may this inspire us all to be better than we are.
The words of Rachel Joy Scott, taken from rachelschallenge.org…
My Ethics, My Codes Of Life
Rachel Scott period 5
Ethics vary with environment, circumstances, and culture. In my own life, ethics play a major role. Whether it was because of the way I was raised, the experiences I’ve had, or just my outlook on the world and the way things should be. My biggest aspects of ethics include being honest, compassionate, and looking for the best and beauty in everyone.
I have been told repeatedly that I trust people too easily, but I find that when I put my faith and trust in people when others would not dare to, they almost never betray me. I would hope that people would put that same faith in me. Trust and honesty is an investment you put in people; if you build enough trust in them and show yourself to be honest, they will do the same in you. I value honesty so much, and it is an expectation I have of myself. I will put honesty before the risk of humiliation, before selfishness, and before anything less worthy of the Gospel truth. Even in being honest and trust worthy, I do not come off cold and heartless. Compassion and honesty go hand in hand, if enough of each is put into every situation. I admire those who trust and are trust worthy.
Compassion is the greatest form of love humans have to offer. According to Webster’s Dictionary compassion means a feeling of sympathy for another’s misfortune. My definition of compassion is forgiving, loving, helping, leading, and showing mercy for others. I have this theory that if one person can go out of their way to show compassion, then it will start a chain reaction of the same. People will never know how far a little kindness can go.
It wasn’t until recently that I learned that the first and the second and the third impressions can be deceitful of what kind of person someone is. For example, imagine you had just met someone, and you speak with them three times on brief everyday conversations. They come off as a harsh, cruel, stubborn, and ignorant person. You reach your judgment based on just these three encounters. Let me ask you something…did you ever ask them what their goal in life is, what kind of past they came from, did they experience love, did they experience hurt, did you look into their soul and not just at their appearance? Until you know them and not just their “type,” you have no right to shun them. You have not looked for their beauty, their good. You have not seen the light in their eyes. Look hard enough and you will always find a light, and you can even help it grow, if you don’t walk away from those three impressions first.
I am sure that my codes of life may be very different from yours, but how do you know that trust, compassion, and beauty will not make this world a better place to be in and this life a better one to live? My codes may seem like a fantasy that can never be reached, but test them for yourself, and see the kind of effect they have in the lives of people around you. You just may start a chain reaction.
The following is taken from the blog quotev.com…
For those who don’t know Rachel Joy Scott, she was the first victim of the Columbine High School Shooting back in April 20,1999. She was sitting outside of the east entrance on the grass with her friend when two boys, by the names of Dylan Klebold and Eric Harries, came up to them and shot them. Eric shot Rachel at least 4 times before she died. Rachel was a kind and warm hearted to EVERYONE. Rachel’s Challenge is a program that goes to schools and spreads Rachel’s message. Her message? To share kindness to all and to not judge people by their APPEARANCE but by who they are. I wanted to share this message with you all because I felt like it was important. It was needed to be said because Rachel spoke the truth. We do need to spread kindness in this world. Especially in this generation. I don’t know if you noticed but today’s generation, OUR generation is a big mess of cruelty. We need kindness in this world. We need more RACHEL’S. Before I leave and you continue on with this story, let me tell you a story. There was a girl, I believe her name was Amber, she was a new student and she was having a miserable first day. She sat alone in lunch, nobody dared to sit next to her. But Rachel, Rachel Joy Scott, went up to her and asked her if she wanted to sit with her and her friends. Amber being shy responded with a no. You would think Rachel would just leave it alone and not do anything about it. But, she didn’t. She went to her friend and told them to come with her and sit with Amber. They did. Suddenly Amber’s day went from miserable to great. What Rachel didn’t know was that Amber had just lost her mom. Not only was she new to a school, but she was still grieving her mother’s death. Rachel Joy Scott did that. One teenage girl did that. What didn’t mean anything to her, meant everything to Amber. Kindness goes a long way. “PEOPLE WILL NEVER KNOW HOW FAR A LITTLE KINDNESS CAN GO.”