October is National Bullying Prevention Month. It’s wonderful that they are bringing light to something that has become an epidemic, right? While I do appreciate their efforts to stop this problem, how can we limit something that is taking place daily in our country to only one month? Did you know that there are an estimated 4,400 youth suicides a year, that means if we were to put that number into a month (31 days), we would lose six children every hour to suicide? I know a way that we can shrink that number tremendously. A theory that is so simple, yet completely underused. Be kind.
I’ve always been someone that was authentic to who I was. That wasn’t always the popular way to be, especially in Junior High and High School. I’ll never forget wearing a pink sweater with fur around the edges in sixth grade and having someone tell me that I would fit in more if I didn’t try to stand out so much. I never understood that and although I acted different than everyone else, I never treated anyone like they were different. I was the girl that was different and I was completely clueless because my parents raised me to be strong and kind to everyone. I wasn’t afraid to stand up for the underdog or sit with the girl that was alone at lunch. This often made me the target of bullying growing up and at the time, it hurt my spirit, but looking back now I realize that people are threatened by authenticity and it’s hard to be kind to someone that is different than themselves. When I graduated high school, I put it in the past and didn’t like to revisit it. Those experiences led me to write my first book, Kindness is Key, a children’s rhyming book that can help prevent bullying. When I wrote this book, I remembered all the times that I felt left out and decided that I would never be the person that makes someone else feel left out. It’s been my mission to work hard and be kind. I want to show girls that you can be a Queen and make everyone else feel royal too. Are you struggling feeling your worth because someone keeps treating you badly? Maybe someone at work, or school? If you’re going through that, I want you to know that you are worthy. If we told each other that we are worthy and wanted more often, I think the confidence of the world would be bursting at the seams. So many amazing people were once bullied for the one thing that made them unique. Cindy Crawford was bullied for her eyebrows and mole, Kate Winslet was made fun of for wanting to be an actress and yet she was the one who survived in the Titanic…Jessica Alba, Megan Fox, Justin Timberlake, Michael Phelps…They were all picked on for being themselves and now look at them. The point is, you can be kind to others, but don’t forget to be kind to yourself. Sometimes the biggest bully is the person who looks back at you in the mirror. Sometimes, we start to believe what others are saying and that is even more dangerous than being bullied, when you let the bully in. Don’t let them in. God made millions of people and he still thought the world needed you, that alone makes you rare. One of my favorite quotes is, “The right person will love all the things that the wrong person was intimidated by.” That’s what bullying stems back to, insecurity and intimidation. People are uncomfortable with things that are different. However, if we choose to start appreciating those things, instead of ridiculing them, kindness would be in style.
This month can be about preventing bullying, but the only way it’s going to stop is if we take the time to be kind to one another. It costs nothing to be a decent human. We have to be examples to the next generation. My challenge to you is to be someone that wears kindness like a shield of armor. Be the woman that smiles back, be the woman that radiates positivity and be the woman that makes everybody feel like a somebody.
It sounds completely juvenile, but if we took the time to care and show others kindness, can you imagine how united our country would become? So, every day, when you wake up and go to put on your Double D jacket, skinny jeans and heels…Throw on your jewelry and add kindness to your accessories. Kindness is the one trend that will never go out of style.
If you haven’t been told this today: You are amazing, you are beautiful, you are rare and you are unique. Now go make someone else smile.