Sunday, July 17, 2011

Why Thank You

“You are so smart.”  “I think you are really pretty.”  “You are very kind.”  I have learned about a teenager at Lake Zurich High School that is changing her fellow student’s lives one compliment at a time.  In the wake of so many deaths related to Teen Dating Violence I thought it was of vital importance to shine some positive light on this student’s actions.
This young woman is a sophomore at Lake Zurich High School.  She created a website on Formspring.  Her website is something special.  Middle school and High school students can visit her site and post only compliments about fellow students.  She reviews the comments prior to posting to ensure that they are up to par.  All of the compliments are left anonymously and she also remains a mystery to her site’s users. 
When interviewed, the anonymous young woman said she wanted to change what she was accustomed to seeing all over cyberspace.  Believing that the rude comments that pervade the internet were unnecessary and hurtful led to the birth of LZ Compliments.  Her project and passion has become so popular that Wauconda and Libertyville High schools have also started similar sites.  The state of Illinois has something to be proud of!
So much of what is reported on the news and internet lacks positivity.  All I ever see is murder, death, violence, and sadness.  As an advocate for the prevention of Teen Dating Violence, I often relay tragic stories that serve as examples and lessons for those that I speak to.  It was really important for me to stop and take a moment to appreciate the efforts of this young woman.  I also find it compelling that she doesn’t want to reveal her identity and is planning to pass the website to another anonymous student upon her graduation.  I find her efforts uplifting. 
 Hopefully this will inspire you to spread the positivity in a world desperate for it.  It starts in the minds and hearts of one individual and can spread like wildfire.  By the way, to my readers, you are thoughtful and wonderful for taking an interest in learning about Teen Dating Violence and its prevention.

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