“One of the lessons that I grew up with was to always stay true to yourself and never let what somebody else says distract you from your goals. And so when I hear about negative and false attacks, I really don’t invest any energy in them because I know who I am.”
–First Lady Michelle Obama
Manners. Compassion. Understanding. Acceptance – all necessary qualities of decent people. Yet, somehow our society has lost touch with positive human interaction. So much so that an entire month must be dedicated to addressing a problem that has reached epic proportions… bullying.
No one deserves to be a victim of bullying.
I believe that every one of us, at some point in our life, has been picked on, made fun of, put down or bullied. Usually our first encounter with this manipulative behavior is on the playground. As children, we didn’t understand why this was happening to us. But, as we mature, we realize that at its foundation, bullying tells us more about the person doing it than we realize. It tells us that they are insecure within themselves, lack self- respect and confidence in their own uniqueness, and by putting down someone else, they feel better about themselves. When we are strong enough to stand up to bullies, it shows we like ourselves and that we will not tolerate abusive behavior.
My good friend, Whoopi Goldberg once said, “…bullying is an exercise in power, but it’s also meant to disintegrate someone’s self. It’s meant to take away their sense of who they are.” It’s time to teach our children the power of self-confidence, self-respect and inner strength to stay true to themselves so they never bully another person, and if they are bullied, they will be able to stand with confidence and pride and not give credence to a bully’s words or actions. As professional women, mothers, mentors and teachers, it is our responsibility to set proper examples for our children that will impact future generations in hope that August will no longer have to be known as “Don’t Be a Bully” Month.
I urge all of you to visit the anti-bullying sites below as they are outstanding resources to give you and your children the power to take positive action for social change.
We all deserve lives free from of bullying.
NAPW VIP Member Robyn King
A licensed mental health counselor and victim of bullying, Robyn authored the book, Eating Lunch in the Bathroom, addressing the psychosocial impact of bullying, with tips on how targets can heal, how they can reach out to aggressors and explore the feelings behind these behaviors.
Stop Bullying is an excellent resource providing information from various government agencies on what bullying is, what cyberbullying is, who is at risk and how you can prevent and respond to bullying.
With a mission to collaborate with schools and communities in creating safe and inclusive environments where all youth and adults thrive, Community Matters’ Safe School Ambassador program is the nation’s most effective bystander education program, harnessing the power of students to prevent and stop bullying and violence.
Stomp Out Bullying
STOMP Out Bullying is the leading national anti-bullying and cyberbullying organization for kids and teens in the US, teaching effective solutions on how to respond to all forms of bullying as well as educating parents on how to keep their kids safe and responsible.
PACER’s National Bullying Prevention Center
Founded in 2006, PACER’s National Bullying Prevention Center, actively leads social change, so that bullying is no longer considered an accepted childhood rite of passage. PACER provides innovative resources for students, parents, educators and others, and recognizes bullying as a serious community issue that impacts education, physical and emotional health, and the safety and well-being of students.
As our futures progress, our country becomes more diverse and we empower future generations to success and high achievement, we must start from the ground up in building a society of tolerance, acceptance and pride. This means teaching respect, compassion and understanding that we are all different as we embrace the individuality of others and celebrate our own uniqueness.
We’re still in our Year of Action, so let’s stand stronger, shout louder and put an end to bullying once and for all!
How has bullying affected your life? What steps have you taken to overcome bullying? Share your comments below.