“PEOPLE WILL NEVER KNOW HOW FAR A LITTLE KINDNESS CAN GO.” - Rachel Joy Scott
Rachel was born in Denver, Colorado, in August 1982. She was the middle of five children with two older sisters: Bethanee and Dana; and two younger brothers: Craig and Mike.
Rachel was energized by people. This love expressed itself in an outgoing personality; but also in a heartfelt compassion for people in pain. Rachel learned the power of simple compliments and acts of kindness at an early age. In high school she deliberately reached out to three groups of people and wrote about it in her diary. She said, “I want to reach out to those with special needs because they are often overlooked. I want to reach out to those who are new in school because they don’t have any friends yet. And I want to reach out to those who are picked on or put down by others.” Rachel didn’t just write about it, she lived it.
“COMPASSION IS THE GREATEST FORM OF LOVE HUMANS HAVE TO OFFER.” - Rachel Joy Scott
But Rachel was a normal teenager who experienced the same struggles we all face. She would be the first to tell you she wasn’t perfect. Like everyone else, she made mistakes. Most of the time she found a way to see through her pain and frustration to a bigger purpose. She wrote this quote in one of the six diaries she left her family.
“I HAD MY UPS AND DOWNS. I FELL A FEW TIMES, BUT I DID NOT GIVE UP. DON’T GIVE UP.” - Rachel Joy Scott
Rachel also understood the power of peer pressure and the need to know, love and be true to herself. It was this understanding that helped her respect and appreciate the people around her; especially those who were in pain or different from her. She did this by looking deeper than the surface into the relatedness we all share. Rachel wrote, “Look hard enough and you will always find a light, and you can even help that light grow.” Being comfortable in her own skin allowed her to fight injustice for others. The understanding that we are all uniquely important was so central to Rachel’s life that in an undated letter to her cousin she wrote:
“DON’T LET YOUR CHARACTER CHANGE COLOR WITH YOUR ENVIRONMENT. FIND OUT WHO YOU ARE AND LET IT STAY ITS TRUE COLOR.” - Rachel Joy Scott
Rachel seemed to know that her life would be short, but that it would be meaningful; and she was at peace with this. When she was 13 years old she traced the outline of her hands on the back of her dresser and wrote:
“These hands belong to Rachel Joy Scott and will someday touch millions of people’s hearts.” She knew her life mattered. Her message to you would be that, no matter your history or circumstances, your life matters too. She’d ask you to have the courage to do what is right, even if it isn’t easy or popular. She’d encourage you to intentionally reach out to those in need; and would remind you, as she wrote in her final essay,
“COMPASSION IS THE GREATEST FORM OF LOVE HUMANS HAVE TO OFFER. I HAVE THIS THEORY THAT IF ONE PERSON CAN GO OUT OF THEIR WAY TO SHOW COMPASSION, THEN IT WILL START A CHAIN REACTION OF THE SAME. PEOPLE WILL NEVER KNOW HOW FAR A LITTLE KINDNESS CAN GO.”
SOME OF RACHEL'S FAVORITE THINGS
Yellow and Lavender
"Bittersweet Symphony" by The Verve
Julia Roberts, Jodie Foster, Cameron Diaz and Drew Barrymore
Cheese pizza, hot wings, burgers, sweets and cereal