DEAR ABBY: I am a 12-year-old freshman at an all-girls school. Prior to this I was in the public school system. Today I was thinking about my experiences in both systems of schools, which inspired me to write the following poem. You can print it if you like.
Perhaps it will strike a chord with educators and students. Maybe it won't. But I wanted to get my feelings out on this subject and help to stop unfair judgment. -- LEALIA XIONG, GUILFORD, CONN.
DEAR LEALIA: I'm pleased to share your poem and the important message it so succinctly conveys. You have tremendous insight for one so young, and talent as well.
Don't judge people you hardly know.
You don't know what their day has been like.
You don't know what their life has been like.
Don't judge someone who seems
As if she's overreacting.
You don't know if she's lost someone
She loved dearly
Or if her parents are getting a divorce
Or fighting over nothing.
Don't judge someone who's different.
He's probably one of the nicest people you'll
Or the funniest.
Or the smartest.
Take the time to get to know people.
Walk with them.
Run with them.
Share their triumphs and their sorrows.
Maybe they don't dance through life
As you thought.