The Wandering Poet

Buffy Brinkley on the Things that Inspire my Life, my Pen, and my Heart.

Be The Change

on June 21, 2015

Prior, during, and especially in the wake of Cybersmile’s Stop Cyberbullying Day, I thought seriously about who I am, the bullying I experienced, and the efforts I consciously made to remain myself at all costs.

As a creative person, I came to realize quite early in my life that if I allowed someone else to define me, I would lose the ability to imagine. I would lose the very essence of the person I wanted to be. When bullies came knocking, I refused to answer. When they attempted to label me, I made sure I labeled myself in a bolder print. When they spoke behind my back, I simply remained the opposite of their definition.

This made me an outcast amongst a great number of my peers. (The definition of “outcast” is someone who is ostracized from or who doesn’t belong in his/her social group.) It hurts to feel you don’t belong. But I asked myself: do you WANT to belong with them? They are cruel to one another. They live in fear of one another. They bully others as a group, and each other as individuals; each striving to be the king of a very dysfunctional mountain. They are flailing through life too busy defining others to discover themselves. I began to feel sorry for them. And my answer was most assuredly No. I did not want to belong with them.

Instead, I remained kind, thoughtful, considerate, and, as a product of that behavior, happy with who I was and happy with the world around me. I was someone I could be proud of; someone I could look into the mirror and say: “Yes. I want to be her. She is who I am.” And this caused my bullies to not only leave me alone, but also garner some respect for me. I beat them simply by being myself and not allowing them to tell me who I was. I was the change for myself.

And while I didn’t have a huge number of friends, the friends I had were true to me. And they’re still my friends today (nearly 30 years later). The people in my life are those who celebrated my individuality and whose individuality I celebrated. Each new friendship I make is usually lasting and strong. Those that are not, fizzle themselves out. I must remind myself that, in life, some people are only supposed to touch my life but not remain in it. And that’s okay.

I learn from people everyday. And I am sad to say that I see more of what sets an example of what NOT to do. Bullying seems to be a norm in the cyber world. But, it doesn’t have to be. We must rise above it. Ignore it. Block it. And, define ourselves so we don’t become it.

I challenge all who read this to spend the next 30 days posting one kind thing to your followers and friends every day. And to refrain from judgmental comments. Look closer at those you’ve surrounded yourself with and truly see them. Tell them what you like about them. And do it everyday. I will be leading by example. There is no victory in making someone feel badly about themselves or the world, so rise above it! Be kind. Be thoughtful. Be considerate. Be the change! 😊 

 

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2 responses to “Be The Change

  1. Ju1esH says:

    Very well said. Valuable to share w/ young people. Reminds me of this song I learned in a singing group this yr. It’s from the movie Curious George. Wish I’d thought of it earlier this month

    Liked by 1 person

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