Have you ever been bullied?
Ever felt humiliated or been made to feel bad for just being who you are?
Bullying is a devastating issue that surrounds us every day.
You might not notice it right away, but I assure you it is there.
It’s in the snide comments your friend made about someone ‘funny’ looking.
It’s the colleague who undermines your ideas in a meeting.
It’s the boss who yelled at his team to just ‘do what he says’ and not question why.
It’s the mother who told her child she’s disappointed that they didn’t live up to her expectations.
We’ve all been guilty of it at some point in our lives (some more than others) but we don’t always stop and think about the ramifications of our actions, or the pain left behind after our words have long disappeared.
In fact someone very close to my heart was a victim of bullying for many years as a child, and it completely altered his life. I can still see the ripples affecting him every single day from things that happened over 20 years ago.
I myself can still hear the words of the mean girls at school ringing through my ears every time I’m feeling down or a tad vulnerable.
It may be hard to comprehend but that little act of bullying that you might think is harmless, can actually be fatal.
On-going conflict destroys friendships, families, organisations, teams, communities and far too many lives every single day.
But dealing with conflict is just a part of life, right?
Though I must ask the question – does it have to be?
Surely there must be something we can do about it?
Well I think there is.
And it all starts with a simple thing called appreciation.
It starts with celebrating each others’ strengths instead of focusing on our weaknesses.
It’s sharing the love when we could share more hate.
It’s saying something positive when it’s all too easy to be negative.
It’s speaking up for someone when they’re being picked on.
It’s making a point to tell the people around you just how awesome they are, even if it feels a bit strange at first.
It’s understanding our differences and why it’s OK to be unique.
It’s being brave enough to take a stand and say that bullying is not OK.
Because it’s not. OK?
I beg of you, next time you go to open your mouth and complain about someone, point out what’s wrong with them, or even just to laugh at their expense – please stop.
Stop and ask yourself the question – is this going to help that person in any way, or could it possibly do more harm than good?
Ask yourself – Is this OK?
The main objective of our work is to help schools, organisations, families, communities and people like yourself feel better about who you are and be appreciated for your uniqueness.