“Have Courage and Be Kind.”

Recently, a video surfaced of a child crying in the car after being bullied at school. I could barely watch the video- my heart sank and my mind raced. How can we stand by and let these terrible acts happen so frequently? Bullying exists all over- in the work place, in the classroom, amongst peers, and even through social media. The internet allows bullies to target the victim at all times of the day. There seems to be no escape from bullies, and we need to work to change the ways of society. While it is hard to change others actions, we have control over our reactions.

The quote “Have Courage & Be Kind” comes from one of my favorite Disney movies, Cinderella. Cinderella states this quote, as it was passed down from her mother. Despite all the negativity from her world and her new evil step mother, she must “have courage and be kind.” It may sound  impossible to do so.  It is so much easier to try to seek revenge or to let it get to us, but we have to remember to move forward. (Plus, I believe success is the best revenge.)

When one lets a bully get to him/her, one is feeding into the bully’s negative energy. The reaction triggers more negative energy and adds fuel to the bully’s fire. Trying to be the bigger person can feel impossible, and sometimes it is nearly impossible to stay strong while being bullied. People can be very mean, and these bully kids become bully adults and the bottom line-it sucks. Not everyone wants you to succeed. Some people thrive on the failure of others. Rather than letting these bullies influence you negatively, channel this energy into your passions and hobbies. Grow yourself, wear what you want to wear, do what makes you happy and SUCCEED at it. Nothing will make the bully more dissatisfied than seeing your successes.

Take it from someone who has been bullied in person at school as well as on social media, it is tough but you can grow from this. You can get through it, and channel this energy into something positive! When I was a freshman in high school, I suffered from depression after being bullied in school and feeling like I would never fit in. I was still growing into myself, I wore clothes I thought were cool, and I did not have many friends. I had no one to dress up with for Halloween, I had few people to sit with at lunch, I barely smiled or laughed. Then came the mean kids and nasty comments as I walked through the halls or visited the local movie theater. I made a varsity team as a freshman, and granted many girls did not like that. The bullying started, and boy did it hurt. I spent a lot of time alone, but I also spent this time on Tumblr. I enjoyed blogging and writing and sharing my emotions with random strangers on the internet. I learned just how much I loved to write and photograph and create. I grew myself through this experience. So much so, that I landed a job later in high school that would PAY me to blog for their website. This negative experience became a positive one in high school, but bullying lasts even into adult hood.

My freshman-sophomore year of college, I developed an eating disorder. I lost a lot of weight, and I became cranky, tired, etc. I received hate mail on my Instagram. When I attended (dreadfully) events with kids from high school, I received negative comments and snickering. While I was suffering from an eating disorder, I was also “successful” so to speak. I was in the business school, I was modeling, and I just landed an internship at Walt Disney World. Ultimately, I was doing much better than the bullies from high school. That was my revenge, that was my success.

So, I challenge you to “Have courage and be kind.” Do not let the bullies make you hard. Work hard to achieve your goals, do what makes you happy. In the end, you will feel more accomplished by your goals and how you made others feel.

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