I'm the type of person who cries at commercials. I'm also one of those types who's a complete and utter sucker for love. Combine the two and you get a teary-eyed and simultaneously quietly cheering »hell yes« reaction to Sprite's latest commercial.
Bullying is a real issue, especially with the rise of the use of social media and with it more and more opportunities for the disconnect between people (oh how ironic) and for cyberbullying. Almost all of us have been either on the receiving or on the giving end of the bullying stick and, I'm ashamed to admit it, but when I think back to some of my actions, I realize I wasn't just on the receiving end but also on the giving one. Back then, I didn't think those comments or actions were »bad« but little things matter and as much as they might seem harmless to us, they might leave another person with a completely different experience. But »know better, do better,« right? At least I hope so...
Love, so much love, is what we need. But is it really all that we need?
If just a few months ago I would have completely agreed with the famous The Beatle's song (though on some level I still believe that), I know that much, much more is needed in order for things to actually change, the most important part of that puzzle being action. See or hear someone bullying? Point it out and call bullcrap on the bully but don't forget to continuously check in with yourself about all the different, maybe tiny, ways you are maybe part of the problem too.
Just like Rachel Cargle---activist, writer, and lecturer focusing on exploring the intersection of race and womanhood---said,
»I don't want your love and light if you're not also doing the work to make the world we live in more survivable for me and those less vulnerable. There is a crucial self-care and social justice component to out collective wellness. Meditate and call your senator. Go to yoga and vote. Breathe deeply and donate to causes that matter. Go on a retreat and go support small businesses. Enjoy your essential oils and check people on their bullcrap in the community.«
And although this quote might be specifically aimed at the wellness industry, it can be applied to pretty much any area of our lives and any kind of discrimination.
Thoughts and prayers don't count. Love does. But also our actions and the willingness to look at our own privilege and ways we »bully« and see how we can turn it around into a world more just and friendly for all of us, especially the ones who are often repressed and we on some level deem as »different.«