Bullying

Everyone’s talking about it. People are coming out and admitting if they were bullied, or if they were a bully. Singer X did this. Gay Director underwent Y. It’s a lot of it everywhere. All at the same time. A tidal wave of bully.

I feel strongly for those poor guys who killed themselves because they couldn’t take the pain they endured. The were on the wrong end of a big stick of hate.

So here’s my big bully statement for today: I wasn’t bullied. Nor was I the bully.

I had rivals. A nemesis or two. I elected not to let a catty remark or pun make me hate myself. I hated them for saying it. Or not being more clever with their statements. I pushed back.

It may have helped that I was 5’11” in 8th grade. Or that moving around so much made me just not care what other people said. Or maybe it was my parents. They taught my siblings and me that no one is better than us. Everyone is just a person. People are people. They are equal. CEOs aren’t better than the homeless.

So what you get are three really mouthy Kite children. We often mortify our parents (or friends) with the things we’re willing to say, and the people to whom we direct our remarks.

This really helped in the corporate world, where I’ve seen people try to shove or overpower me more than anytime in school.

How about pushing more campaigns to educate parents and school administrators on how to fix your mean, shitastic kids? If your kid is a punk, you’ll figure it out. If you don’t notice, you may well be a punk too. I was lucky. Not everyone is. And on the flip side, we help kids (and adults) realize no one makes you feel little without your permission. One of my favorite quotes in the world: “No one can make you feel inferior with your consent.” – Eleanor Roosevelt.

Instead of wearing purple today (mainly because I don’t own any), and because I don’t have a big statement to share, I decided to do something different to help. I’m not going to talk about outrage I don’t have. I’m not going to confess to something I didn’t do. I’m going to make a promise.

I’m going to donate something very precious to me. I’m going to donate time. I pledge at least 100 hours in 2011 to counseling centers or GLBT centers to help where I can. That will be my “purple”.

-Ry

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