My high school is currently going through “Bell Week”, a school week with pep rallies and dress-up days to excite and prepare us for the Bell Game. The Bell Game is our most popular annual football game opposing our rival school. It’s a pretty big deal. We also put up posters that are often rude and derogatory towards our opponents and have an entire dress-up day dedicated to making fun of our rival school. Sometimes at the football game our and their school take the teasing too far and fights break out between students. This goes to show that the tension between our schools is often taken too far. We should learn to coexist in a more amiable manner.
Today, one of my teachers gave us a different perspective on the way we were dressed. Most of us thought it was fun to dress as nerds of from our opposing school. He told us that Nerd Day was the day with the most participation out of the entire school year and had us reflect on that. Why does everyone love to dress up as nerds? As a class we agreed on this: People like to make fun of others, especially in large groups where we feel less guilt about doing so. By mocking the way “nerds” dress, we are inevitably offending someone who dresses like that. He told us to keep this in mind while dressing to mimic the typical “nerd”. I think it was the first time many of us had even imagined that side of the story.
In my opinion, there will almost always be someone offended by your demeanor. Be careful what you present yourself as, and always keep other’s feelings in mind. Sympathy can be a life-changing quality.