The End of Bullying Begins with Me

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I haven’t always been the self-confident ginger I am today. It took years – many, many awkward years – to peel away the self-loathing in order to arrive at acceptance and self-love. Not the conceited kind of self-love that thinks I’m the bomb and can do no wrong; no, the kind that knows the truth about who I am – a person of value, who has her faults, sure, but who does her best to love others and herself.

But the freckles, buck teeth, frizzy red hair, and pale skin hasn’t always put me on the most popular list. I was five, and a kid locked me in a dark room, yelling from the other side of the door, “I’ll let you out when you stop being ugly. I guess you’ll stay in there forever.” Traumatizing. Now, being a red head is something I treasure and love because it makes me feel unique. But for some reason, being a redhead as a kid was something that was weird and unusual and was met with a lot of bullying and name-calling. Carrot top, ghost, albino, bozo, and a few more inappropriate derogatory words not suitable for HMB were all words used as daggers to hurt me. On top of the red hair, I’ve fought a battle with trichotillomania since I was ten which made junior high exceptionally brutal. Even now as I’ve made a presence on the internet, I’ve been met with trolls who’ve called me slut, ugly, and stupid. Trolls whose only purpose in life is to bully others.

I just can’t comprehend such hate.

We all know the psychology behind bullies. They put others down in order to make themselves feel better. But even though that may be the root, it doesn’t make the blows they throw any easier to take.

Late one night I was keeping myself awake by browsing the internet, reading blogs, googling people to learn more about their stories. {Bloggers and YouTubers and how they’ve gotten to where they are in life. Not random people. I’m not that much of a stalker.} In my googling, I landed on a website solely dedicated to ripping people to shreds for no reason. Much like feeding people to lions in ancient Rome. It was for sport and spectacle. It was so disgusting reading these mean words people wrote about folks they don’t even know personally, that I’m not even going to dignify this site by telling you its name. I can’t even believe I spent the two minutes I did reading what they wrote. The negative energy on this website and its forum made my stomach turn. How on earth can people be so mean?

The internet can be mean. Real life can be mean. But the internet has handed out bullhorns that are being used for shouting negativity and hate. And few things hurt my heart more than seeing humans hurting other humans for the sake of…what? Popularity? Pride? Sport? Why must we look down on someone because they’re different than us?

Moms, our kids are watching us. They see how we treat people. They hear how we talk about others. Let’s let the root of our lives be love, even for the people we feel don’t deserve it. Everyone deserves respect. Let’s be the first ones to stand up to bullying so we can shift the perspective of future generations to be one of love and respect. As moms, let’s stop the cycle of bullying. Let our kids see us intentionally love and respect others, show them ways to love and respect others, and make this world a little bit easier to live in.

We all fight our individual battles. The truth is – we have no idea what battles someone might be fighting. And our words and our actions could be the one thing that sends a person over the edge. Instead of pushing them off, let’s grab their hand to lead them away from the ledge. Speak a kind word. That’s all it takes. Or if you have no kinds words, then say no words at all. But I implore you to try.

The end of bullying begins with me.” It begins with being intentional. How about we all look at someone today that we would reflexively be critical towards for whatever reason grinds our gears, whether it be online or in person, and let’s look at that person and find one nice thing to say about them. And then, let’s encourage our kids to do the same. Let’s be intentional with our niceness so we can silence the bullying.

In what ways have you been bullied? Can you think of ways you have been a bully? What are some ways we can intentionally stand up to bullying and in turn, teach our children to treat others with respect? Let’s get a dialogue started below…

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A native Houstonian, Hannah adores everything about her home town…except for the humidity. So when she married Aaron in July 2008, an indoor wedding was necessary to protect this ginger from the frizz of summer. After 8 years of marriage, 4 of those battling through infertility, they welcomed twins Cason and Grace into their family through the miracle of adoption in December 2013. A graduate of the University of Houston with a degree in theatre and a creative writing minor, creating runs deep in Hannah’s veins. Her goal is to live a fearless life where she works hard creating projects and ideas that make their home in her wild imagination. She loves making videos for her YouTube Channel, taking photos and writing for her blog Everything Sunny Always, and creating digital artwork to sell in her Etsy Shop. When she’s not creating, you can find Hannah at any local coffee shop fueling her adoration for a gourmet cup of joe or stuck in traffic on the Houston freeways belting Adele or practicing her future Emmy speech.



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