A little over a week ago, the Huffington Post wrote an article about the Youth Service America Top 25 Most Powerful and Influential Young People in the World. Reading about twelve-year old Olivia Bouler who has managed to raise $200,000 for environmental causes, and sixteen-year old Jonny Cohen who has been retrofitting school buses to be more fuel efficient through his project GreenShields, left me recharged with hope for the future. Yet, with this hope came despair when I realized that we as a society are actively sabotaging our future talent.
By allowing bullying to continue on the path that it’s on, we’re not only hurting future Olivia Boulers and Jonny Cohens, we’re allowing other children to marginalize those they deem “different” or “weird” and consequently support the notion that bullying is simply a part of growing up. Children like Olivia and Jonny are picked on, beat up, and spend their time trying to get away from bullies when they could be spending time exploring what they aspire to be. The children that are “different” or “weird” are often the ones who have the best ideas, the ones who challenge the status quo and build something real, something special that changes the world. They should be accepted for who they are and their talents should be nurtured instead of being used as a target for bullies.
To quote Apple’s “Think Different” ad campaign: “They change things. They invent. They imagine. They heal. They explore. They create. They inspire. They push the human race forward.”
We’re just as much to blame as the bullies themselves if we allow this to continue. We’re all guilty of turning a blind eye to bullying, but it’s time for a change. It’s time for us to take action – to do something that actually works toward a solution.
Our nonprofit’s anti-bullying campaign, “I Choose”, has a simple message: bullying is a choice, and just like everything else, people have the power to make a better choice. With our Classroom Challenge Kits we’re able to bring a powerful and practical anti-bullying solution into schools all over the country.
All of us here at Yoursphere Media, Inc. invite you to stop by our campaign’s website at www.whatdoyouchoose.org and browse through the stories and videos that we’ve received from bullying victims across the country.
If you have a story or just a few words of encouragement, we invite you to share it.
If you would like to help fund more Classroom Challenge Kits, we welcome your donation.