Be warned - this is not a post about events. This is about life and impact points, suicide and bullying.
This weekend a teenage girl from our local high school committed suicide, effectively ending her life and forever changing her family. While we will never know why for certain, we do know that she was bullied, for standing up for who she was, for leading a group of teens in addressing homophobia and for seeking support.
Children are not born with hate and intolerance, they are (mostly) born knowing love and security. It is critical that as parents we teach our children the world is full of people who will have different religions, lifestyle preferences, skin colors and languages, cultural norms and that while we are all different - we are all humans, and we all have one planet to share. We need to model for them and teach them that abuse and bullying in any form - face to face, telling stories behind people's back, on any medium on the internet, via text message or on the phone - it is NOT acceptable.
Everyone has their own story and should have the right to make (legal) choices that suit them and are not doing harm to others. This can be done one day, one lesson at a time, but it is critical that we continue to share messages of mutual respect in spite of differences and that we seek to help others who are struggling with adversity.
The slogan of the 1996 International AIDS Conference in Vancouver was "One World. One Hope." This applies to so much beyond this meeting and its message remains important.
February 29th is PinkShirtDay - join in and make a statement while looking great!