There’s been so much talk lately about the Netflix series 13 Reasons Why that I am about over hearing about it. Not because I didn’t watch it — I did, twice. The first time by myself then I convinced my mom that she should watch it so we watched it together. It’s not that I don’t think we should be talking about 13 Reasons Why, it’s that we all need to realize that we’re not just talking about a Netflix series when we’re talking about it. We’re talking about people’s lives that hang in the balance of whether or not they decide that will be their last day.
So, as the title suggests, we’re going to talk about 13 reasons I personally think that 13 Reasons Why is important. But I’m going to break it into a couple posts because this post ended up being pretty long.
#1 It opens up room for discussion.
Yeah, I just complained about the fact that we’re still talking about 13 Reasons Why, but I don’t think it’s the series itself that was the goal of the series for us to talk about. It was suicide prevention, awareness, etc.
#2 It’s honest.
I realize that the scene of Hannah Baker’s suicide is graphic, and I don’t think that younger viewers or those experiencing suicidal thoughts should watch that scene (or possibly the whole series, for that matter). However, the scene of Hannah’s suicide as well as the rest of the series is raw in exposing the truth behind what led her down that road. One thing that television is not is honest, so I think we should appreciate the honesty and the rawness of 13 Reasons Why. There were also objections in the way of this series purely being about Hannah’s revenge rather than about her feelings and how she truly internalized everything. I disagree, I think the show does a good job of showing how Hannah felt as she endured everything she went through.
#3 It’s Real Life.
Gosh, I wish no one ever had to experience all of the things that Hannah did. But the truth is, girls do and so do guys, and I think that we need to be more aware of this and be there for others if someone is experiencing things like betrayal, harassment, being stalked, raped, or feeling alone or unloved. It can only take one of these things or one other completely different thing to cause someone to commit suicide.
#4 It’s Not Funny
If someone’s “joking” about killing themselves, please, please, please address it. Even if it’s said jokingly, you shouldn’t ever ignore someone saying they’re going to end their life.
On the other hand, if you’re joking about suicide in general or killing yourself and you aren’t having suicidal thoughts, just stop.
#4 It Encourages Us to Be Aware
Just my opinion, but I think the furthest thing from the goal of 13 Reasons Why was to make people feel that they should feel guilty if they have lost someone in their lives as a result of suicide. However, we can all do a better job of being there for one another and could possibly prevent someone from deciding to commit suicide with a simple smile or text. You never know what someone else is going through, reaching out to them is worth it.
#5 Love Before It’s Too Late
If you’ve seen the series, you know that it primarily focuses on Clay Jenson listening to Hannah’s tapes. Clay loved Hannah, but it was too late to tell her. Point being, whether you think someone else feels the same way or not, tell them. You’ll only regret not telling them.
This one goes for every single person in our lives, family, friends, and those you don’t know. You never know how much time you’ll have with people, and whether you have 5 days, 5 years, or 50 years, better to spend your time together richly than to spend it focused on your phones, television and video games.
Come back for Part 2 next week! Until then, check out some “old” posts: