Everyone has experienced it at one time or another. Your walking down the street or in a store, you pass a kind stranger, and have the usual gineric exchange. "hi how are you today?" they'll smile politely and wait for the normal "I'm fine thanks" then everyone moves on. But has anyone ever taken a moment to really pay attention? Few might notice a small frown or lost look, maybe even get a kind smile. But do many of us ever really HEAR that person? Everyone's always so busy and in their own little world rushing around day in and day out. Do most people even really care? A young child can walk up to you with the biggest smile and everyone assumes they are fine. But sometimes, the biggest smiles are concealing the darkest of secrets. what if you knew that little kid went home every night to a drunken abusive father? or that girl you saw being bullied on the playground just lost her mother to cancer? what if you knew that bully at recess has to go passed his own bullies every day just to get beaten down like all the ones he does it to? Even the ones who bully carry secrets. Teachers always say "if you ever need to talk an adult is always there". Sometimes this may be true but your past can always block out those voices replacing them with new ones. "if you rat your a snitch a coward" These words aren't just said by adults. Kids can use weapons like the sharpest of knives right to the heart and that kid will feel that label for years. They say your perminant record follows you your whole life. Lables can do the same weather its just you or multiple who remember. "Get help" they tell the new teenage "emo" boy. Theres a reason they wont talk and its not just about "snitching" Bullies arent the only ones who lable you. Cant sit still in class? oh you must have ADD. Cant seem to find a reason to smile? oh you must be depressed or suicidal! here take a pill! Sometimes we get so wrapped up in our own lives that we look for the "QUICK FIX" to a problem. We forget that the most helpful solution can be as easy as listening and helping someone realize that we actually want to realy talk without judgment. Some can even be as easy as giving a real compliment or even just a simple smile. Another way we can all actually fix this epidemic would be to actually enfirce zero tolerance pollicys and making BOTH sides of the conflict heard AND cared for.