Last week we wrote an article about hate mail we had received from a reader called Hate or Validate and followed it up with a story titled Hate…Is Not a Luxury! Since the very first email we received from a struggling, gay teenager thanking us for putting ourselves out there because it helped them not feel so alone, we have been dedicated to continuing to do what we are doing to help each person, no matter what their heritage, culture, ethnicity or background, live a life without fear…a true luxury.
We have become a society of strangers not neighbors. We’re afraid to talk to one another and walk around on each others’ front porches. Most of us have stopped being concerned with each other because we have our own agenda. And our children are suffering the most because they have very few solid, role models.
We made it. We’re on the other side. At least today. When we walk down the street and someone calls us a name we hold our heads up high because we refuse to become a victim of their oppression! But does that mean it’s ok? Absolutely not. How can we possibly change the world if we are unable to even affect one another? Why is it so difficult to just talk to each other?
On the heels of our past, two articles, we received a message from a friend about how she had recently been the recipient of some bullying:
“I know you guys are tackling the issue of bullying and it is quite interesting how we all experience it in some form throughout our life. I know I was bullied and called names when I was in grade school because of how I looked. The topic came quite timely as I experienced some of that same negativity about my ethnicity the other day. So to answer your twitter post about whether bullying continues in adulthood here’s some thoughts on it:
Bullying takes on other forms as we grow up, we just give it different names. Sexual harassment is a form of bullying. Racial commentary, bashing someone if they are gay/lesbian/bi/transgender, offhand remarks about ethnicity, etc. it still continues. You even see it with the commentary folks make about the President or the comments made towards certain ethnic groups following the 9/11 tragedy.
I even experienced it the other day at work through a very uneducated comment from a coworker (the first time ever, I felt like my ethnicity/heritage was something that bothered people).
As we grow older, we would hope that we mature enough to know what is wrong/right and act accordingly. As we grow older, we are exposed to more diverse ways of thinking and thus, we would hope, that the ignorance of bullying will be remedied.
Unfortunately, fear (of the unknown), jealousy, and the vices that hold some of these folks locked in their mental state keep “bullying” a part of adult life. As adults, we are better equipped to handle these situations. However, that does not mean we should tolerate it.
I put my situation out there on social media with a status comment on Facebook (maybe not the best of ideas, but social media is looked upon as an outlet). It got the attention of a co-worker who is a “friend” on Facebook. Which then went to my Director. My Director was not standing for it.
For those of us fortunate enough to have been taught that the beauty in and fabric of life is the diversity of people, ideas and situations we come across, tolerating narrow-mindedness is not an option.
Tolerance of bullying stops somewhere. And it stops with people like my Director, my friends, and others who take action.
The question then lies in: Who is brave enough? Who is bold enough? Who will take action? Who values diversity? Who is willing to teach tolerance to the bully and show them the errors in thinking? And, above all, who values the simplicity of humanity?”
We’re brave enough, are you?
We believe it is easier to hate than to love. We believe it is easier to hit than to hug. We believe it is easier to curse than to compliment. We believe it is easier to kill…than to kiss. For this reason we are propsing that instead of hating, cursing, hitting and killing you will love, hug, compliment and kiss! People are willing every day to take huge risks with drugs, alcohol, operations, money and violence not knowing what the possible outcome will be but they are unable to take the same risks to be brave and actually get closer to someone who is foreign or confusing to them because of their differences.
Hug someone. Compliment someone. Love someone…
Stop being a coward. Kiss a fool!
Be yourself. Be unafraid…Be your own unexpected luxury!