Anti Bullying Week 2020 – Don’t Hate Yourself

As someone who felt they were bullied as a child, I would simply say to those people, young and old, who feel bullied that the key to moving forward is not hating yourself.

When you believe in yourself and your values, then you will find a much stronger you and not allow the negativity of another impact you. Their words will just bounce off your invisible shield and you will get on with your day as you had planned, all else being equal.

I was born with an extensive strawberry birthmark which it turns out is probably my cerebellum as my right side of my body is stronger than my left. A brain scan at 40 showed limited cerebellum! When I see or hear of kids with Cerebral Palsy I count my blessings.

As a small child it didn’t matter but as I got into my teens I became incredibly sensitive about it and this sensitivity was identified by some as a weakness they could use against me… or more probably, I could use against myself!

Reflecting as a grown up, there were probably far fewer people than I thought who even noticed my birthmark, they would have been more focused on their own bodily issues but as a child you feel very alone as you hate this about yourself and just want it to go away.

Some kids just bounce with stuff and are welcomed into the fold because kids just wanna have fun, they don’t judge you the same way you do, they just want to laugh…

This early experience has given me a heightened sense of awareness when it comes to bullies and I give them short shrift in my life as it’s just too short to be wasting energy on negativity.

That’s very easy when you are just getting on with your life and no-one, outside of your family, really cares about what you do BUT when you become a Councillor, that changes!

People think they are entitled to take pot shots at you on social media and the experienced trolls know that you can’t retort as they can make a complaint, report a “Code of Conduct” to the Council if you should “offend” them in any way!

The worst kind of bully is the one that tries to undermine you by generating fake news but the beautiful thing is that their actions are so transparent that it is not long before residents simply call them out on your behalf with no prompting whatsoever… I call this Karma 😉

I am a great believer in spiritual practice… “what goes around, comes around” is a good way to think of this. Being kind to another is far more rewarding that taking cheap pot shots.

I sign all my emails off with the words “Thank you” based on the work of Dr Emoto, go google him.

In Rotary we have a saying “Service Above Self” which reinforces the fact that we feel really good inside when we help another person.

Spike Milligan’s poem smile is one to make you smile…
Smiling is infectious, you catch it like the flu, When someone smiled at me today, I started smiling too. I passed around the corner and someone saw my grin. When he smiled I realized I’d passed it on to him. I thought about that smile, then I realized its worth.

There is even a moment around Happiness!

As a teenager, when asked what I wanted to be when I grew up, the internal answer was always “Happy” and now, with a beautiful wife, two great kids, a dog, a job I enjoy and a community role that allows me to get things done, I believe I truly am.

So if you are feeling bullied, don’t feel you have to stand up and be aggressive, simply wish them well in their lives and then ignore them… focus on being kind to others and it’ll not be long before you feel happy inside and you can then work out what you want to do with your life so you can stay that way 😉

We’re all a work in progress… unique in our own way. Let’s find beauty in celebrating our differences without hurting each other and let the pain wash away… #BeKind

Thank you.


Artwork by Chlo Cartoons

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