Candy Grams

          

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             Love Stinks Valentine’s Day event was a change. It was a divergence from the usual positive attention that Valentine’s Day receives. Growing up, my understanding of what that day represents was pretty much limited to “candy grams”. Candy grams were distributed by my school on Valentine’s Day, and they were basically a group of hearts cut out of red and pink paper, with small chocolates taped to them. Each heart had a “From” and “To” section and the person sending it would write their name and that of the person they’re sending it to. The candy grams would then be delivered to each class, where we all impatiently waited to see who had sent us chocolate! How happy we would be if the sender wrote “Secret Admirer!”  Valentine’s Day in school brought a lot of “crushes” together but it also broke a few girls’ hearts. Eventually, I realized that there was more to Valentine’s Day than candy grams; it was a day for couples to make each other feel special! Come on! That’s so lame! So people actually wait all year long to make their “significant other” feel special? If you’re really that in love, you can just celebrate your love on each others birthdays or something! There you go, two times a year instead of one! Okay, back to the event now. Love Stinks Valentine’s Day highlighted views about love (through poems), that opposed the usual wave of admiration and enthusiasm towards love. Those views may be considered a bit cynical by some people, but I personally find them realistic. For as beautiful as love may be, it certainly comes with a lot of responsibilities and attachments that can sometimes be so draining. This was the poem I liked most.

Valentine by Carol Ann Duffy

Not a red rose or a satin heart.

I give you an onion.

It is a moon wrapped in brown paper.

It promises light

like the careful undressing of love.

Here.

It will blind you with tears

like a lover.

It will make your reflection

a wobbling photo of grief.

I am trying to be truthful.

Not a cute card or a kissogram.

I give you an onion.

Its fierce kiss will stay on your lips,

possessive and faithful

as we are,

for as long as we are.

Take it.

Its platinum loops shrink to a wedding-ring,

if you like.

Lethal.

Its scent will cling to your fingers,

cling to your knife.

Are you a Bully too?

         It was a completely random day at school, and I somehow found myself sitting with a guy that I don’t usually see a lot. We started talking and then all of a sudden he blurt out, “You were such a terrible person in the ninth grade!!” I asked him why, and he said, “You told me I was weird, but you said it in such a terrible way!!” I was shocked at his comment because it had been three whole years since that happened (I couldn’t even remember) and he was obviously still hurt! Does that mean I was a bully?

It probably does, and it makes sense to me now! Why I bullied him, I mean. Naive Realism. I was so convinced with my own definition of “normal”, that I considered anything else as weird or bad. I gave very little value to individual differences, and as far as I was concerned, if you didn’t perceive things the same way I did, then you were wrong, and I would do my best to tell you that you are! I guess that’s why construal comes from the inevitable need to be accurate. . . Anyways, the fact that he was very introverted and sat alone all the time was a bit unfamiliar to me and I tried to explain that in terms of his character (weird), completely disregarding the situation itself. Perhaps people do that a lot. Enough times to coin a term for it, at least: “fundamental attribution error“… If my peer hadn’t approached me, I would’ve never known the negative impact that my words had on him! Think about that! How many people do we bully and not even know it? Are you a bully too? That seemingly insignificant conversation really highlighted social influence for me. The power of one word, one action, one gesture…it can linger on in a person’s mind long after the incident itself has happened. And we are part of that social influence whether we like it or not.

A video on bullying as a form of social influence.