Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Acceptance. Not Tolerance.

 I am bullied.

At one point or another, everyone has been bullied.

It makes my heart heavy to think of how much bullying there is every day, in many different ways.  Some people are bullied in person at school, work or home.  Others suffer from intense cyber bullying.  Physical, emotional, the list, sadly, is endless.  The horrific epidemic of suicide due to bullying is a serious and very real problem.  I remember being bullied in high school but it was very different than I understand it to be now.  I cannot imagine being a vulnerable teen and being subjected to social media and the bullying that comes with it.

In my case, I get nasty comments from nameless, faceless, anonymous trolls on the internet.  We also get negative, terrible, comments regarding our radio show. (And I'm not talking constructive criticism)   These rarely get to me as I've been in the media for ten years and have developed a detachment with a thick skin.  But, sometimes it does sting or make me pause.  I usually wonder what is happening in that person's life to make them so miserable that they have to take it out on me.  It can often be blindingly obvious why someone is a bully.  This doesn't make it ok.  It makes me think of another quote:
My mum is one of the kindest and selfless people I know.  She's always led by example.  What's funny is that I didn't even know she was teaching me self-confidence, love and acceptance.  It's just her nature.  I believe I have confidence and strong self-esteem because I never once heard my mum put herself or anyone else down.  It's rare to hear her speak ill of anyone or anything.  She has strong beliefs and morals but never passes judgement on others. 

While interviewing a ninth grader about Pink Shirt Day this week, she said something that I just can't get out of my head.   They've been encouraged to follow a motto of Acceptance Not Tolerance.  How simply brilliant is that? It's not enough to just tolerate someone.  We must try to learn about them, understand where they are coming from and accept them. 

I applaud the efforts of Pink Shirt Day but encourage a stand against bullying year-round.  Sometimes it's best to let it slide off your back, like water on a duck.  I firmly believe in picking my battles.  But, sometimes you have to stand up for yourself.  If you aren't able to stand up to a bully yourself, tell someone.  Anyone.  Find someone you trust and ask their advice.  

You are not alone. 

2 comments:

  1. Great advice!!!!
    No one should stand by while bullying happens no matter the age or situation, it is not only children many seniors are bullied, do what you can to help it will always be the right choice.
    You are a pretty good role model yourself :)
    A&G

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  2. Thank you, dear for your comments. They touch my heart. The above comment is correct; you are a good role model. Jesus said in His second commandment: 'You shall love your neighbour as yourself''. Nobody wants to be bullied so it shouldn't happen on any level. We should always do our best to stop it. Love, xx

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