Thursday, November 26, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving, USA!

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone in the US!  I hope you have a great time with friends and family today, or if you can't be near your loved ones, that you're able to spend a little quiet time reflecting on the things you're thankful for in your life.

Enjoy the day and the beginning of our "official" holiday season!

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

On Bullies

I don't really use my blog to soapbox, but this is an issue that's pretty close to home, and I'm sure you'll all agree that it needs to stop.

In response to a parent's recent blog post about bullying, I wrote a little about my own experiences. Here's what I said in my Facebook response:

This one touched a nerve.

As one of the "out crowd" in grade school, I can say that being excluded from things DID hurt, but it taught me to face adversity (of which there is no shortage even after graduation). It stung when I was picked on for how I dressed (not glamorous) and because I was already very shy. Imagine being painfully shy, and getting teased or bullied. That doesn't exactly foster an outgoing attitude. Even my friends would tease me for being so shy. That was even worse.

To the picked-on and bullied kids (not just girls), I say this: You can get past these people. It's hard. It's damn hard. I ignored it for YEARS, or stuffed it down in a box. I waited it out, and it sucked. I developed a thick skin, and it sucked. In fact, it's one of the reasons I write. Art is a good vent for all that suck. Just keep getting up and being you, in spite of everyone else, because one day, all that suck won't matter so much, and what's left is what you made of yourself.

To the bullies, I say this: Stop talking and use your ears. Use your head. Use your courage. I know you're scared to stand out. I know you're scared to be the one person who doesn't go along with everyone else who piles on the unpopular kid. Use your popularity to change minds instead of destroying someone. It matters. It matters even more to KEEP TRYING to be that person.

To the parents, I say this: Your first and foremost obligation to this child you brought into the world is to teach him or her to be a good human being. Anything less than that most crucial of lessons is a disservice to your child, because it's the only way to be sure they will truly be, not popular, but LOVED.

Bullying stops with one person, the only one whose actions you can control: you.