Changes for the better

It's the new year, and there is a lot of talk swirling about change.  Making changes.  Changing outlooks.  Embracing change.  Ashley over at The Shine Project, is challenging us to be our best selves this year.  I can drink (tea) to that.  Why not?  I think we'd all be a little better off being our best self.  Here is Ashley's challenge to us bloggers for the new year and for this week:

 Every Monday, I will post a new challenge. 
Something that's going to help you become a better YOU.
It will help you realize that you have a fight within you
that you didn't even know was there.
Then, on Fridays, you'll post on your blog how the challenge went,
thoughts on it, etc...and link it back to my blog.
We're all here to motivate each other along our growing pains of change.

So! Your challenge to kick off the new year is simple.
Answer this question,
"If I could change one thing in the world, what would it be?"
Write down the first thing that comes to mind.
Then make a list of ways that YOU can help make that change.
Make it as simple as possible.
I'm excited to see your thoughts on Friday.
And I even have a little surprise for you...
Happy 2012...Let's be our best selves

If I have learned anything in this last year of blogging it's that blogging does challenge you to be a better you.  Once you get it out, you find ways to tweak and change.  So this type of challenge and link up are right up my alley.  It's the question she posed however that makes me a little nervous... "If I could change one thing in the world, what would it be?"  Automatically I thought bullying.  Bullying.  Period.  The part that makes me nervous is that I do not want to be polarizing or political.  I don't want to jump on a soap box.  I just want to talk about bullying and its consequences from a mother's standpoint. 

If I could change one thing, right now, it would be bullying.  It would be the irrational hatred and ignorance that abounds when something or someone is different.  If we are all born with the ability to love and be loved, then why on earth do we teach and nurture hate?  The stories over the last few years about teenage suicide as a result of bullying are heartbreaking and horrifying.  And still it's happening.  Why is it still happening?

As parents, and as mothers, we work so hard to protect our children.  We buy the right diapers, we buy the right crib, we breastfeed, or buy top of the line formula.  We do everything in our power from day one to protect our beautiful beings.  In doing so we hold them and cherish them, until we can no longer keep them in this bubble.  Then we have to let them out.  Let them go and be themselves.  Sometimes they fit right in.  Sometimes they are square pegs.  What happens when being themselves isn't the status quo?

I want the differences not to matter.  I want all of us to decide that being different is awesome.  No matter what you are, who you are, what you love, or what you want.  I want us all to start teaching that.  I want us to teach it to our kiddos like the ABC's.  I want to let them know that just because someone looks different they are still good, and still part of this earth.  That they matter, just like everyone else.

Sure it's a lot to ask for.  But it has to stop.  This idea that some people are better, worthy, infallible.  It has to stop.  We have to make it stop.  We have to take the responsibility to end bullying.  To end the comparisons.  We have to take this into our own hands and say THIS IS NOT OK.  BULLYING IS NOT OK.

For now my girls are 4 and 2.  I'm trying very hard to teach all life lessons over here.  I wrote a post a while back called Brown.  It was about the differences between my two girls.  How we are nurturing differences.  There are always teachable moments.  Always. 

The first week of preschool, between the tears, we had our first "bullying" experience.  I will thank God, everyday that it wasn't my child that experienced this.  I now know the child and the parent, and it doubly breaks my heart.  The 2nd day this little girl was at school, her mom found her on the playground during pick up, crying with dirt in her hair.  The story is that she was sitting alone, and some other girls started picking on her and throwing dirt in her hair.  Totally devastating right? 

Well, later I asked Caitlin about the incident.  I asked why the girls were throwing dirt at the girl.  She said she thought it was because the girl didn't want to play with the others.  She said she smiled at her, but the girl didn't smile back.  So I took this moment to change our mindset.  I told Caitlin that the girl was most likely just shy (she is) and that maybe she was just a little too shy to play.  I also told Caitlin that it's important to be nice to EVERYONE.  No matter if they are shy, or sad, or not in the mood to be nice.  I wanted to add: black, white, yellow, pink, blue, purple, polka dotted, but it would have been way to much for a four year old.

There are so many opportunities for us to stop the bullying.  They happen everyday.  This is my wish.  This is what I want to change.  I can't read one more story about a mom burying her son, or her daughter.  I can't read one more story about a young person with so much promise, who really believed they were unworthy of this life.  I look at my two girls and my heart breaks.  What would I do?  Where on this earth would I be, if I lost my child because someone called her fat or stupid?  Because she was bullied into believing she was ugly or a slut?  Because she was so different and wanted to live her life a different way, that she said forget it. 

I refuse to let it happen.  I will nurture my daughters and their differences.  I will teach them that everyone is worthy of this life, no matter their choices or circumstance.  I will stand by my girls  and guide them into their future.  I will pray that when they face challenges they will be strong and steadfast.  And if they can teach someone else kindness and empathy they will.

Let's make the changes we want to see.  Your own child just might thank you for it.

Will you join me?

Happy Blogging,

Linking up with The Shine Project
Let's be our best selves!

1 comment:

  1. My hope is that I can teach these lessons to my boys and encourage others to do the same. If you're starting a revolution, then I'm in. No one should have to lose a child, but especially for something that can be stopped before it has the chance to begin.