Anyone who has ever watched the popular sitcom or cinematic success Friday Night Lights is familiar with life in Small-town, Texas – conservative traditions accompanied by conservative values and very little room for outsider influence. Beginning in childhood, we begin mastering the same conservative values of our parents just as they learned them from their parents. Most never think to question said values as we strive to fit into the acceptable guidelines to avoid being seen as “different.” Being perceived as such is accompanied by a guarantee of being a social cast-out, met with constant ridicule. Understandably so, it is virtually unheard of for someone to act in a manner that would result in such a perception intentionally.
It seems every new school year is met with a new face of two meandering the hallways, clearly not accustomed to Small-town, Texas. A particular new face at the beginning of my junior year of high school would ...
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... the perception of an individual. Occasionally, more effort is required but tends not to extend further than opening lines of communication. As I embark on my final year of high school here in Madisonville, Texas, I am proud to report that Jason is no longer a victim of ridicule or bullying. He and I may not be close friends, but I will forever be grateful to him for what he allowed me to learn about myself without ever having spoken to me. It is because of him I am able to embrace with pride that I was able to find the courage to live the teachings of Muhammed Ghandi, “You must be the change you wish to see in the world.” Without this courage, I would have deprived many of my closest friends the experience of accepting something new and different, and the rewards of developing a friendship with someone they would have never considered worthy of their conversation.
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