I have never really been the victim of bullying, nor have I ever been a bully. There was only once in my life where I can say I did something that I now look back on with a certain degree of shame which was make fun of a kid who was new to the country because of his accent... The worst irony is that he was Chinese, and I am half Chinese myself.
I am in fact proud that I have at various times in my life helped people stand up to bullies. One was a kid at school who kids made fun of because he was mentally handicapped, and another was standing up for a group of young girls (total strangers) who were being made fun of by a group of young boys because they were of a different culture.
The biggest reason I support The Project is because I really don't believe that people my age and older fully understand how bad it is for some kids these days.
For whatever reason stories about bullying and the death of children due to suicides have captured my attention and my heart, and nothing angers me more than knowing the cruelty of some people (both child and adult) and the ignorance that allows them to act in such a manner with no regard for the victim or their feelings. When we have children killing themselves, and having to watch their peers be buried, something is grossly wrong with the world we live in.
I'm a big believer in the fact that we're all equal and all deserve to be treated with dignity and respect. Often the things that others view as faults are not our own doing, and regardless are not a reason to be singled out and made fun of. Whether you're poor and can't afford the trendy clothes that other kids wear, LGBT, nerdy and unathletic, there is a place for you in the world.... NO matter how much others tell you you do not belong, you do.
It breaks my heart that so many children feel there's no other way to deal with the pain than to take their lives, and it infuriates me that there's no effective means with which to deal with these situations.
As much as I want to tell every kid that it will get better, as it inevitably does if one is strong enough, I am saddened by the fact that kids have to be strong enough to ride it out waiting for that day, when there's no good reason they should be enduring what they do on a daily basis in the first place.
The biggest strength victims have is banding together to be their own support group. There is strength in numbers and knowing you're not alone. Be strong, find others who share your experiences, and share that strength with one another.
Even though people like myself will never understand what many of you face every day, we will stand with you to help put an end to it. No one should live in fear for being who they are, and every child deserves to be happy and free from ridicule and violence.
By writing some words below, you are showing your support and letting everyone know they're not alone.