I received this message at tumblr, and after I posted my response I decided I wanted to add it to my blog as well– both so it wouldn’t be lost, and because this is something I believe very strongly that will never change. I see way too many people use their own real or perceived hurt to hurt others, and that is exactly what bullies are often thought to do. Don’t let yourself become so certain of your own moral superiority that you are blinded to the impact of your own actions or words.
Wow, thank you so much for pointing that out! I hadn’t seen it before and it was amazing! Since I think everyone should watch it, here’s the video:
I love the message in it, and that it stands for anti-bullying. I really like how it talks about the different parts, how something small can become something so huge. I could really identify with that, both for me and for some of my characters. I want to take a second to remind everyone how much words can hurt, and how verbal or emotional abuse can cause as much– if not, in some cases, actually more– long term damage as physical abuse.
But I also want to mention something else: I think we should all strive to treat others the way we wish we would be treated. This is unrelated to this video but sometimes, especially on social media, I see people get so wrapped up in whatever cause they’re trying to champion that they start attacking everyone else, labeling them as XYZphobic or XYZist even when they aren’t. Even when the behavior they’re demonizing is, at best, ignorance that could easily be changed through education by treating the other person with the respect those people are demanding they themselves deserve. Calling people names doesn’t help any cause. And I know some of those people don’t want to hear it, but if you start down that path you could easily become someone else’s bully.
Be kind to one another, and always be willing to understand the other side. Because when you start making snap decisions about other people based on one comment or one moment or one aspect of who they are as a human, you can become no different than the background voices hurting others with their words like in this video.
Anon, sorry to segue that video into this topic but it’s something that’s been really bothering me lately, and seriously upset/angered me earlier today, and when I saw this video I loved it so much. All I could think about was how all the perspectives can come together to tell a story that could be a tragedy, or an inspiration, or anything in between.
We all hold responsibility for our own actions and our own voices. We can use them to try to help or, whether purposeful or not, to harm. Always be mindful of the power of your words and your reach. You aren’t invisible and you aren’t screaming into a storm, so if you use that power well you can be a light in someone else’s darkness, or build a bridge where before there was only a rift, or be a bandage to cover a wound. You can and do make a difference everyday, so let’s all try to make sure that difference is a positive one.