Bullying. What an ugly and destructive thing and sadly it goes on every day in this world. Bullying hurts people, ruins lives and can lead to suicide. Yes, you heard me. Suicide. Ugly, toxic and sometimes hate fueled words that spill out of someone’s mouth can lead to someone feeling so desperate that they take their own life. It is hard for me to comprehend this level of emotional desperation and pain. Bullying makes me angry, incredibly sad and I want to stand strong and do something about it. We as fellow human beings can stand strong together and rise up against this ugliness that destroys lives. I want to be that person. How about you?
Yesterday, I stumbled across a video clip on Facebook that both angered and inspired me. Rachel Farnsworth is a blogger and chef that shares restaurant quality recipes you can easily make at home. http://thestayathomechef.com Rachel’s site is filled with amazing recipes and it is a site I will be following for great meal ideas to share with family at home. However, what touched me deeply and fueled the inspiration for this article was a video clip Rachel posted on bullying. Her response to a hate comment is powerful and a reminder to love ourselves. Rachel reminds us it is important to build people up instead of tearing each other down. Amen. Watch this important video and BE THAT PERSON. https://youtu.be/aFk9L3nhS0Q
There is so much hate in this world and it is hard for me to understand how people can be so cruel. Why does anyone think it is okay to say mean things to another human being? How can anyone close their eyes at night and fall asleep with any sense of peace knowing their words tore another down? Yet, if we are 100 percent honest, everyone is capable of saying mean things to another.
Life is hard. I get it. People are scared, exhausted, hurting, stressed and perhaps have been the victim of hate or bullying themselves. But….regardless of how hard life might be, it is never a license to destroy lives with cruel words.
Last week I wrote an article about death and the lifelong grief that accompanies this type of loss. https://inspirationbymichele.com/grief/ While this article was specific to dying, there are many forms of loss that can lead to grief. For anyone that has been a target of bullying, loss and grief have most likely become a painful part of their world.
Bullying harms and humiliates others. It is deliberate and it strips people of their dignity, crushes their souls and steals their joy. It leaves people feeling worthless, not good enough and like they don’t belong in this world. The bullied feel ugly, too thin, too fat, too old and too weak. People that are bullied feel like they don’t fit in, unaccepted, unloved and all alone. The bullied feel desperate and sadly, there are times when they truly believe it would be easier to not be in this world at all. Talk about experience loss and facing grief.
For those who bully, there seems to be a lack of remorse and boundaries do not exist. Bullying can happen to anyone but it is typically not random. Bullies often target those that seem weak, lack assertiveness or radiate fear. Bullies love to dominate and be in control. https://inspirationbymichele.com/when-is-it-ok-to-bully-never/ This ruthless act can happen to you, your children or your loved ones. No one is completely immune. Anyone can become a target of a bully regardless of age, gender or race. It is an epidemic in our society and it needs to STOP.
Rachel’s video clip struck a chord deep within my heart and dumped gasoline on a fire that is already burning inside of me. Many tears have been shed over the years as I have heard or read about bullying. It seems that every month there is another life taken at the merciless hands of this problem that exists and continues to grow. Listening to Rachel’s video made me reminded me that I need to keep fighting and standing up for what I believe in and to help those that have been abused or hurt.
Like so many of us, Rachel has a story to tell, is beautiful inside and out, has scars from battles fought and wisdom to be shared. More people need to take the time to listen. More people need to take a step back and remember that we are all fighting some type of battle. It is impossible to know what another is going through without first walking in their shoes. Empathy is far more powerful than throwing stones at others and quite honestly, it is often the people that throw the most stones that have the biggest boulders sitting on top of their own homes.
Rachel stood up for herself and chose to rise above the hate filled message and respond with love for others and with love for herself. Her message was clear, beautiful and powerful. Rachel demonstrated love for herself, for who she was, for her husband and for others despite the cruelty of another’s word. The world needs more Rachel’s in it.
Life will always be filled with challenging things. Barriers will appear at every turn. People will be cruel. Loss and grief are unavoidable. Our hearts will be broken and more than once. Life is sometimes brutal. However, life is also beautiful and it is beautiful because there are good people in this world. There are amazing stories every day that capture how amazing and resilient the human spirit is. During the toughest times, people show up, come together and help those hurting or in need. That, my friends, is what makes life so beautiful in and around what can be an ugly world.
Bullying is a huge problem and at times it seems to be spinning out of control. Like so many things in life, it is easy to walk away, ignore it or pretend it doesn’t exist. Sometimes it feels overwhelming or it is hard to believe that any one of us could actually make a difference or change something in this world. People often feel powerless or live in fear and therefore they do nothing to stand up for what they believe in. It is time to stop hiding behind our fears, pretending bullying doesn’t exist because it is easier. It is time to stop doubting that we do in fact have the power to stand up against those things that are creating so much pain and grief in this journey we must all walk.
Every single person on this planet has the power to do something. Whether it is big or small, it will help and it will make a difference. When we join together and walk as one, we can change this world.
Bullying is just one of many problems out there but it is a big one and again, it is destroying lives. These are just a few thoughts to consider moving forward.
- Stand up for what you believe in. It is easy to get caught up in what others are doing or saying. Be brave and confident enough in who you are to stand up to those that are tearing others down.
- Self-awareness is key. It is human nature to judge but I will say this again, practice empathy instead of judging. Be aware of your own thoughts and shift your perspective and thinking when judging others or saying words that can hurt another human being.
- Be kind. It is so easy to pay it forward and to help others. Just be nice. It is not a hard thing to do. Kindness can and will change lives.
- Learn to love yourself. If you love yourself and believe in who you are it is far less likely that you will pick on or purposefully hurt others.
- Remember, you are beautiful just the way you are. Beauty starts on the inside and to have a beautiful heart is a choice.
- Choose love. Most of what happens in this life comes down to personal choice. Love others and instead of tearing people down, build them up.
You can make a difference. It is possible to rise high above the ugly things that happen daily in our lives. As Rachel said, “be that person, be that person, be that person”. It might not only make a difference in someone’s life but it might actually save a life. You are beautiful and my hope is that you know it, believe it and live true to who you are and who you want to be. Be that person. I know I am trying to be that person every single day. Are you?
In Peace and In Love,