The ALS Ice bucket challenge has recently taken the internet by storm. Hundreds of thousands have helped raise money for ALS and it has overall been a positive movement. But what happens when charity turns into bullying? In Bay Village, Ohio, a fourteen-year-old autistic boy was invited by fellow students to participate in the challenge. However, bullying reared its ugly head once again when instead of ice water, the teens poured a bucket of urine, spit, and feces onto the unsuspecting boy from a roof top.
This behavior is appalling and unacceptable. It’s not cool. It’s not funny -ever. Bullying is everyone’s problem and we want to help stop it, so we’ve teamed up with GiveForward to promote love over hate and to help share the victim’s story and let him know he’s awesome. The money raised will go directly to the autistic boy’s family to aid in his care. More importantly, outside of financial donations, we’re hoping to encourage and support him with words of kindness. Our goal is to get 1,000 comments on his GiveForward page to show that love is always bigger than hate. We encourage you to send kind words and to share his page on your Facebook feed. If you support tolerance and anti-bullying, please help spread the word and hashtag #Love>Hate.
At the end of the day, we’re all responsible for eradicating bullying and setting good examples for our youth and peers. Here are 3 anti-bullying principles for tolerance to live by:
Being A Bystander Makes Us Part of The Problem
First and foremost, being a bystander makes us part of the problem. If we observe an act of bullying and we don’t step in, we’re effectively reenforcing such behavior. As Martin Luther King Jr. famously said, “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.” Speak up and step in if you see someone being bullied. If you stand around and say nothing, you are de facto participating in the bullying.
No one has any obligation to be like us, to go along with what we do, or to believe in what we believe in. We all come from different backgrounds and cultures. What we may deem as “normal” may not be someone else’s version of “normal.” Normalcy is relative -if we could all realize that and respect individuality, there would be a lot more peace in the world.
Everyone has the basic human right to be themselves within peaceful reason. In reality, none of us are the master purveyors of “normalcy,” therefore we have no right to judge others for not fitting into our individual views and values. We’re all just people with flaws and shortcomings trying to make our way in the world.
If You Can’t Love Someone, Leave Them Alone
Realistically, not everyone in this world is compatible. If you don’t particularly like someone, at the very least leave them alone. If you’re bullying, sabotaging or gossiping about them, YOU are making yourself the problem. Not liking someone doesn’t give anyone entitlement to be awful. As Dr. Wayne Dyer says, “How people treat you in their karma, how you react is yours.” Choose peace and you will find your own inner peace.