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Don#039;t force everyone into the same mold

Blondes are dumb, but they have more fun. Women are bad drivers. Men don't listen. The list goes on. There are so many stereotypes in the world.

I don't believe these are true, even though most of the guys I know, don't listen. Some people think that if you are friends with a person that has bad habits, you will automatically wind up picking up those habits.

Just because a person is friends with someone who does something they shouldn't, does not mean the person is going to end up doing the same thing. It is all about will power. If someone doesn't want to do something, they won't do it, but if they do want to do it, they will do it no matter who they are around.

People are also bad about classifying people into categories just because of the company they keep. I don't like to do that, even though I do catch myself doing it every now and then.

If you close yourself off to people just because of who they are around, you will miss out on knowing some really good people. I know I have friends that aren't exactly angels along with a few that really act like they are.

People should take the time to get to know people before they judge them. So often I catch myself making snap judgments about people I don't even know. I can see someone and think to myself, "I bet he is as stuck on himself as he can be." Then I can talk to them and see that they are just the opposite of what I had thought.

Another fault of mine, and many other people is gossiping. I am fully aware that I talk about people. It is by accident and I do not realize when I am doing it. Most of the time I am saying something good, but you really can't help saying the bad part, too.

Hardly anyone can keep a secret now. If you tell one person something, usually about six or seven people know the secret by the end of the day.

Some people go so far as to look on others condescendingly for the things they do, when they aren't perfect either. Even if they aren't being hypocritical they are still not being nice to them when they talk about them behind their back, especially if they do not even know the person.

This breaks friendships up and prevents friendships from being made, so why would anyone want to do that? The best thing a person can do is to not close yourself off to people because of differences that can or can't be helped and to be a true friend. After all if you put yourself in the situation some other people are in, you may find out that you are treating them how you would never want to be treated.

The golden rule is one of the wisest things that has been said because as long as you treat others the way you want to be treated, you won't ever hurt anyone's feelings and you can hold your head high and be proud to know that you are a good person.

Santanna Casey is the typsetter and a regular youth columnist for the Star-News.