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19 Minutes

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The story that has given me the most insight on relationships between humans is 19 Minutes by Jodi Picoult. This story is about a high school in New Hampshire that had experienced a school shooting. Peter Houghton, the school shooter, had experienced years and years of constant bullying. One final act of bullying had sent Peter over the edge. The story is from the viewpoints of many of the characters in the book. It switches from character to character.

This book touched on things that people have a hard time talking about. We all think that relationships between people should be good, but this book brings to light that not every relationship and friendship is that way. In this book, we learn that the bullying starts in kindergarten and continuously gets worse over the course of his life. These relationships with these people shapes him as a person. He hates going to school and seeing all the people that have embarrassed him. He hates knowing that everyone at his high school hates him. Bullying not only makes Peter hate himself more than anyone, it makes him wonder what he did to his peers to make them hate him more.

This book has revealed to me that no matter how much a person goes through, relationships will always matter. The way you treat people, matters. No matter how insignificant you may think something you do or say is, that one action could be stuck in their head. It’s not about how you mean something, it’s always about how that other person interprets it. These instances can affect a person in so many ways. One thing that someone does and brushes off in a matter of minutes, could be lingering in a person’s mind for a very long time. What they think of as a joke could be very hurtful in someone’s mind.

Overall, the way you treat people could possibly affect them for a very long time. Actions and word can be a beautiful thing, but they could very well be something that mentally hurts the person affected. We need to watch the words we say and how they can be interpreted.  



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