From now until Thanksgiving I am making a personal STAND (Start Today A New Direction) against bullying and for intentional, compassionate choices/actions.
Fifteen minutes after Shawn Nordin of THE COLOR BOX shaved my head and shared his own story of being bullied in high school, I went to the grocery store with my husband.
There a group of three young women found themselves unable to restrain their laughter at my bald head and the address lettered there (itgetsbetterproject.com). In my face, they laughed, jeeringly. I told myself they were laughing at something else. I told myself, "Not everything is about you, Mary Anne." I told myself they just happened to be laughing and I just happened to be walking by.
Five minutes later, when I encountered them again, I recognized that my assessment was not correct. They were laughing at me. And they laughed at me again. In my face. I'm 53 years old and I'm committed to this process and I have compassion for their insensitivity and insecurity. And in spite of that - I lost my voice. In spite of that, I did not feel good to be laughed at. I looked at them with disbelief and my kind husband guided me out of the store. And THAT is why it is so important to pay attention to the whole process involved in bullying. It is human nature to be drawn to people who are like you. It is possible, at the same time, to show kindness and tolerance toward people who are not like you. And, in fact, it is essential.
What will you STAND for today?