I’ve always been “different”. And I know what it’s like to be the outcast. It happened every time I moved to a new house and a new school. Six times, three of those six times in junior high, probably the worst possible time for a kid to be “different”.
I was the new kid that no one wants to sit with at lunch. The nerd. The brain. The bookworm. The geek. A loser. I got made fun of because I was small. Because I had glasses. Because I had braces. Because I had zits. Because I wore the kind of clothes the kids at my last school wore. Because I wasn’t street smart. Because I was innocent. Because I had a “ethnic” last name. Because I had a funny accent.
Because I was there.
So I retreated into my safe world of books and writing.
Once I got rid of the glasses and braces, saw the dermatologist and grew a bit, everything changed for me. High school was completely different perhaps because no one ever met the old me.
Maybe you were like me as a kid. Or maybe you were the name caller. Or the bystander who wanted to do something but didn’t know what to do.
As another blogger pointed out, the bullying, the name calling and the hate is still going on around us even though we’re adults. We saw it in the last US federal election. Maybe it also goes on in your workplace. Or your neighborhood.
It’s got to stop.
Mother Theresa said, “If you judge someone, you have no time to love them.”
Love brings good news. Love brings peace. Love brings closure. Love brings healing. Love brings opportunity. Love brings positivity.
Love brings us all together.
Love is the answer.
It’s time to love one another. And to celebrate our differences. It’s time to build each other up and make amends for the tearing down.
I thank my Facebook friends for sharing something with me that sparked this post. And I’d like to share it with you. Enjoy this breathtakingly powerful video of Shane Koyczan’s spoken word poem “To This Day”. (and if that link doesn’t work, cut and paste this one: http://youtu.be/ltun92DfnPY)
Here’s what you’ll see:
- At 1:20, he reminds us all what we heard growing up.
- At 2:07, we meet another girl who was bruised by words.
- At 2:57, we learn why she’s awesome.
- At 3:12, we meet a kid who was pummeled by pills.
- At 4:28, we learn how many kids have to deal with this to this day.
- At 5:23, if you’ve been bullied, you REALLY need to hear these words.
- At 6:00, seriously, listen to these damn beautiful words.
- And at 6:49, we get to the point that everyone should take to heart.
Please do your part to stop the bullying and start bringing us together by loving one another. (Thank you.)
PS: If you like Shane’s work, visit http://www.shanekoyczan.com, sign up and he’ll send you a poem each month.
Thanks for sharing this, Julie. Everybody can relate to being on the “outside” at one time or another. Whether they’ll admit it or not is a different story. But, things have gotten even more out of hand since we were growing up. It is no longer OK to be a bystander. This is one of those topics where you truly are part of the problem if you’re not part of the solution.
Thanks Julie. The children’s mental health agency I work is the lead for the regional anti-stigma campaign and bullying is a huge component of the message. I forwarded the link to the coordinator of the program (who is one of my direct reports) and we have added it to our website – mendthemind.ca
Thanks for this. Great post. Great call to action.
Thank you, Fransi. Maybe it will help us to get some good news for a change.
That would be great! It’s about time.
Lovely. Sharing this w my girls. And I’m, of course, so happy that you quoted Mother Teresa. 🙂
As the Beatles sang/sing All you need is love/love is all you need – humans can be so cruel to one another but if we show love – we will win the war. Turning the other cheek is not the easiest thing to do but it certainly wins one more real friends.