Hello, my name is Michel. I’ve been a local ever since I was 5, going on to be 18 now.

As a youth (and senior at Half Moon Bay High School) it’s devastating to see neighbors “eat each other alive” as some may say. I wanted to say that I lost hope for good in the world until I hopped onto NextDoor and got a better look at who the people in my community are. Those people are kind, those people are supportive, understanding and just the good I was not seeing in the world.

With our current situation over the past few weeks with the “shelter in place” order, I have seen some posts made by extremely upset people. I have seen people be put against people. I understand people are upset, still, we can’t control anyone other than ourselves. No matter how upset we get, that is only affecting our lives negatively, because at the end of the day people forget while we stay angry.

As Aristotle once said, “The angry man wants the object of his anger to suffer in return; hatred wishes its object to not exist.”

So, we can choose today to continue intoxicating social media with more negativity and be like the rest of the world or surpass this trial and unite. It’s true that no one should be above the law. Still, we must remind ourselves that we are not the law enforcers. Beaches are not closed, beach parking lots are. Going outside — within a five-mile radius of your home — is allowed. Grocery stores allow over 20 people inside the same building at once. Whether at the beach or grocery stores, the concept stands the same. People are out doing what they consider essential activities.

If you yourself are going out, distance yourself, and if others aren’t, let’s let them be. If you are out, you are making a decision to potentially come in contact with other people. If you are looking after yourself, great. I’m sorry others won’t take the same precautions.

I will just add that we never know where people are coming from. We don’t know how bad their homes may be, or how hard they’re battling inside their heads. We mustn’t forget that because we are capable of being rational and healthy, we shouldn’t assume others are at the same level of maturity or stability. I think, if anything, we should take care of ourselves. And if we see these things happening around us, we should distance ourselves even more from the situation.

If officials are taking care of these things, let’s leave it up to them. Otherwise, we risk spreading our disappointment to others, our hate to others. And, truly, as a teen reading all those complaints has been too much. I find myself constantly taking emotional breaks from all the posts. I would like to return to seeing our community spreading information on where others in need could find food, things to help us, and attempt to worry less about what other people are doing.

I understand we are upset by people who might not be following the orders, so, for every time we get upset, why don’t we make an origami figure and post that instead?

Please worry about yourself. We are all, at the end of the day, human. We ourselves are not perfect. Remember that when we point our fingers at other people we have three fingers pointing right back at us.

As Mr. John Nazar, the principal of my school, would say, “Be kind to one another and have a great day.”

Michel Conde-Sanchez wrote this on NextDoor recently. It is reprinted here with her permission.

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(1) comment


Thank you for saying what very much needed to be said!

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