You have probably heard about the latest Netflix series 13 Reasons Why and it’s likely you’ve already begun watching or you read the book by Jay Asher many years ago.
I know many people think that this show does more harm than good as the series glamorizes suicide in a way. That it could lead other’s to aspire to recreate what the main character, Hannah Baker, does to the 13 people that drove her to ultimately take her own life. She does this by recording tapes that explain in depth what each person has done to her and why it influenced her to do what she did.
However, it’s clear throughout the show that all of these individuals that must listen to the tapes are affected in different ways, and most don’t believe that they are even somewhat responsible even after listening to all 13 tapes. I don’t feel that this was glamorous. Who are we to judge someone else’s mental health? Yes, it is ultimately their choice to take their own life, but does that imply that it’s okay to disregard everything else that lead up to it happening?
13 REASONS WHY DEMONSTRATES THAT COLLECTIVELY, WE ARE ALL A PRODUCT OF SOCIETAL ISSUES THAT CAN INTENSIFY MENTAL ILLNESSES.
I am not arguing that 13 reasons why addresses these common issues among teenagers correctly or not. I am naturally sharing my impressions and thoughts after finishing the series.
Regardless of your opinion regarding the show 13 Reasons Why, I believe that there is a lot of things we can all learn from the story line and its message for viewers of all ages.(Note, if you haven’t finished the series what I am talking about could spoil things for you! But you should definitely come back and read once you are finished, I am sure it won’t take you too long.
JUST HOW MUCH OUR ACTIONS AND WORDS CAN AFFECT OTHERS
Just because someone else’s words don’t have an effect on you, it doesn’t mean your words and actions have no impact on them; in negative and positive ways. Maybe someone’s comments towards you have no effect on you, and you can brush it off, yet there is a lot of people who can’t do that.
EVEN WHEN WE THINK WE KNOW SOMEONE AND WHAT’S GOING ON IN THEIR LIFE, WE DON’T
No matter how badly we wish to understand the people we love and to have the ability to recognize when something is wrong, it is just not always realistic. Many of us have learned how to hide and mask pain from other’s; even the people we are the closest to.
WE SHOULD REMEMBER THAT SOMETIMES IT IS HARD FOR OTHER’S TO UNDERSTAND WHAT WE ARE GOING THROUGH, BUT IT DOESN’T MEAN WE ARE UNLOVED
It’s really hard for parents to understand what is going through their child’s mind. It’s even hard to know how your best friend is feeling on the inside. With that being said, it’s important to remember when you are hurting that there are people close to you who most likely care even though you think they don’t.
THE POWER OF A SINGLE CONVERSATION
13 Reasons Why demonstrates the power of one conversation. It shows just how much power one moment holds and just how much a single conversation can have an impact on someone.
THE SCENES WE ALL WANTED TO LOOK AWAY FROM, WERE SCENES WE UNQUESTIONABLY CAN LEARN FROM
These scenes include displaying the brutality of rape and suicide graphically and what the effects of it look like. These scenes were in the show because they are relevant and far too common in high school and college today. I feel that it was 100 percent necessary to supply viewers with a real look at what this pain looks like to the person as well as the people around them.
Yes, it was very graphic and flat out brutal; but how could you accurately portray suicide in any other way? Personally, I think this scene was necessary to reveal what suicide actually looks like and why more ought to be done to prevent this scene from occurring again and again. Suicide is brutal, and there are many heartbreaking stories just like this one.
HANNAH’S PARENTS THROUGHOUT THE SHOW
Hannah’s parents finding her after she committed suicide actually could be a message to young people that are contemplating taking their own life through showing them what it can and will do to their loved ones.
EVEN IF WE THINK OUR ACTIONS ARE HARMLESS, IT DOESN’T MEAN THEY ARE
If something doesn’t hurt your feelings or it doesn’t harm you in any way it doesn’t mean that everyone else will react to it in the same way.
WE DON’T ALWAYS GET A SECOND CHANCE TO MAKE THINGS RIGHT WITH SOMEONE, SOMETIMES THINGS ARE PERMANENT
We shouldn’t wait until it’s too late and we are stuck contemplating ways we could’ve been a nicer person, or we could’ve sought to understand what someone else was going through as most the time we aren’t given this luxury, just like the individuals in this series. Each person on the tapes wasn’t necessarily a bad person, but they did do things that were bad without thinking it through before it was too late.
Which brings me to the next reason..
“BAD PEOPLE” AREN’T THE ONLY PEOPLE WHO DO BAD THINGS
Everyone has their own opinion on what makes a person good or bad. Generally speaking, I think there are good people who make mistakes and do horrible things a lot of the time without having the intention of hurting someone as bad as they end up doing. What matters is what people learn and genuinely gain during these experiences.
This is one of the most important aspects of the show I think everyone can learn from,
JUST BECAUSE OUR INTENTIONS ARE GOOD, IT DOESN’T MEAN OUR ACTIONS STILL CANT’ BE WRONG AND HURTFUL.
Having good intentions isn’t enough. When you have intentions of doing your homework by 8:00 P.M. and you don’t do it, it means you failed that task, and we all understand that. Therefore, if your intentions are to be a good person and you end up hurting someone through your words and actions, regardless of your intentions, you should recognize your mistakes. Learn from these mistakes, move forward, and grow from them; just like we would do in the homework scenario.
IT’S OKAY TO ASK FOR HELP
Asking for help isn’t a bad thing. Far too often people would rather struggle alone then seek out help for whatever it is they are dealing with, but this causes added problems for what could’ve been a good person, (for example; Justin being abused by his mother’s boyfriends which ultimately led him to deeper issues that hurt other people)
MORE OF US SHOULD BE WILLING TO HELP
It’s hard to get individuals who are hurting to start asking for help more when there aren’t a lot of people ready and willing to assist them in the first place.
Overall, 13 Reasons Why was an extremely real show focused on real issues that everyone can relate or know’s someone else that can relate to in one way or another. Nobody said the show was going to address every single issue teenagers are facing throughout high school in the best way possible but I believe it addresses many important issues.
Thus, 13 Reasons Why can help teach a life lesson to everyone in a small or huge way concerning the way we treat others. We all should want to continuously become better people and think of others more, we never know when we are saving someone.
At the end of the day, we are all humans. We are allowed to make mistakes.
What’s important is what we gain from our experiences and how we grow into better person be
cause of them.