Did you know that 1 in 7 Canadian children between the ages of 11 and 16 has been bullied?
I bet you don't care.
I'm not between the ages of 11 and 16, in fact I'm very much an adult. And yet, you bully me.
I bet you consider me a wimp because of it.
My childhood wasn't charmed, but it was good and solid, structured. My parents taught me to be strong, to stand up for myself with logic, not fists. And yet, you bully me.
I bet you think that's pathetic.
Building my career hasn't been easy. I've worked with mentors who've taught me about work ethic, and I've weathered as many downs as ups on this crazy life journey. I know all about tough skin - the publishing industry leaves you with little choice. And yet, you get under my skin.
I love deeply.
I cherish my family and friends.
I smile big.
I cry hard.
I bet you think those tears make me weak.
But you're wrong.
I *know* who I am, the intricate and complex pieces that make up me.
And that makes me strong, perhaps stronger than you.
Because I understand that you bully me out of jealousy. And because you can. I am the outsider, you the stoic gatekeeper, the role you've held for generations, perhaps. You bully me with indifference. With cruelty. With underlying threats and a lack of forgiveness.
You bully me by pushing me out of a place I DO belong. Whether you accept it or not.
I bet you think that makes me powerless.
I will continue to take the high road.
I will continue to deflect your unwarranted criticism.
I will ignore your attempts to create "sides."
I will no longer stand for your bullying.
And that, dear bully, makes me strong. Much stronger than you.
The buzz around Dear Bully, an anthology of 70 stories about bullying is more than just idle hype. Bullying is even more prevalent today than ever before, and with the addition of the cyber world, even fewer bullies have been taken to task for their actions.
Each of the heart breaking and heart warming stories in this incredibly important book highlight the importance of speaking out, and standing up against bullies - and perhaps gave me the courage to address my adult bully, albeit under the veil of anonymity.
It's a start.
The teenage son of a very good friend has created an anti-bullying Facebook page as part of a school project. His father wrote this the other day:
I know all my "friends" have not clicked on and liked this page. This is for a great cause and I know you like a lot of other things not as important.
He's right. I "like" a lot of people and causes on Facebook - many not near as important as this. I "liked" this page. I hope you'll consider liking it, too.
Anti Bullying Awareness