Today is Pink Shirt Day.*
(Image found @ Boys & Girls Club of Summerside)
Pink Shirt Day is a nation-wide (Canadian) campaign to bring awareness to bullying.
Bullying is a problem. It is a problem in schools, homes, places of work and everywhere in between. It is a problem for children and for adults. It is perpetrated by children and by adults. Bullies know no colour, race, or socioeconomic restrictions.
I have been bullied. I have been bullied by people who make sense to me and I have been bullied by people who have no business bullying anyone. I think, most of the time, abuse begets abuse. I don’t think bullies have easy lives. I think they have been bullied and abused themselves and they see little (or no) wrong in turning that behaviour onto others. It is, after all, how they were raised and they turned out just fine.
I think that abuse begets abuse, but I don’t believe that. I do not believe, for a hot minute, that being abused is an excuse to turn abuse onto another person. I do not believe that you don’t know that you’re abusing, or bullying, someone. I do not. You know when you are saying and doing awful things to another person and you know, because you know, what that does to them.
Bullying is bullshit. That’s it, that’s all I got. I hate it and it’s so wrong. I want for it to stop, so I’m taking a stand. I’m going to start putting my actions where my mouth is. I talk a big talk about being passionate about anti-bullying, but I don’t walk the walk. It isn’t enough to wear a pink t-shirt and write about having been bullied. It’s time to help people who are being bullied, help people who have been bullied and help people who help people (including former bullies).
Please start to employ the wise words of Wil Wheaton: don’t be a dick.
Now I need to go and write a letter to an organization to ask them what I can do and how much time they need from me (this is where things get sticky, because I’m also in the middle of a letter to another organization about another thing that I am also incredibly passionate about. These are great things, but there’s only so much time in a day).
Pink Shirt Day. One of my favourite days of the year. It warms my heart to see so much pink. So many people standing up and biting their thumbs at bullying and bullies. You’re awesome, folks. Keep that shit up.
*You know what I really love about Pink Shirt Day? It all started because two boys were incensed at the awful treatment of a fellow student, all because this child wore a pink shirt to school. Not only did these boys show up in pink shirts the next day, but they handed out pink shirts to dozens of their classmates. All in support of one bullied child. That’s badass. That’s humanity. That’s faith restoring. (You can read more about it here: About Pink Shirt Day)