Lessons on Acceptance

This pic of Kelsey was taken by one of her dear Wisconsin friends. I love it--it captures Kels' truest essence so beautifully.

This pic of Kelsey was taken by one of her dear Wisconsin friends. I love it–it captures Kels’ truest essence so beautifully.

“Bullying” has become quite the hot topic in recent years. Months are devoted to it at my children’s schools. Pamphlets abound about it. People are suspended from schools and jobs over it. A generation ago, what is now so clearly identified as bullying was “tough love.”

In many ways, over the course of my lifetime to date, I will openly admit that I have played both sides of this fence. Blame my naiveté or the sign of the times, as one of the more popular kids growing up, I’m quite sure my pride pushed others aside and put others down. The flip side is that I have also spent much time on the receiving end of emotional bullying, and know first hand how painful it can be.  Even though it never leaves a visible mark, bullying changes people. It changes them from the people they were on the path to becoming.

My daughter, Kelsey (of the previous “This Is Kelsey” post), has also had experience with this sort of pain and sees how incredibly harmful “tough love” is. I wanted to share with you a post she recently made on the subject, because her words are so insightful and wise, and because (let’s face it…) I’m a proud mom.

These are Kelsey’s words:

Thought of the day-
Lately, I’ve started taking a lot more notice of all the people who show an extreme lack of acceptance. Whether it be an offensive name, taunting, or some other form of bullying/abuse, people have lost the ability to look at things from someone else’s point of view. So, here are a few reminders:
1) Calling someone a “retard” is offensive for many reasons. Not only are you using a word that’s not meant to have a negative connotation as a way to demean someone, but it’s wholly unnecessary.
2) The same goes with calling someone/something “gay” when they aren’t/don’t want to be called that. You’re taking a word that is a serious part of some peoples lives and turning it into a joke.
3) “Slut shaming” is a terrible thing. Judging anyone for the way they dress and/or the lifestyle they lead wrong. You may not agree with someone’s way of dressing or acting, but you shouldn’t go out of your way to make them feel about themselves.
4) THIS IS A REALLY IMPORTANT ONE. Body shaming is wrong and a serious form of emotional abuse. People have become better about accepting many types of bodies, whether they be larger or smaller, but there have been complications. I’ve seen a lot of people who make posts or talk about the fact that they respect larger women/men, but in the process, they skinny shame. (Example- “I would rather be big than be a stick figure” or “eat something, skinny girls need some meat on their bones”.) EVERY body should be accepted without putting someone else down. Remember that both skinny and heavier individuals can have body image issues. No one wants to be made fun of for something that would take them years (if at all) to change.

Acceptance is key. Please take a minute each time you’re about to say something that could offend someone and think about how it would feel if the roles were reversed. You deserve better, and so do they. Respect yourself and respect those around you. Besides, why waste your time on doing something that’s not beneficial to your happiness? Life is too short and no one with hate in their hearts can be truly happy.

**Thank you, Kelsey. I love you a zillion and am so proud of your enormous heart for people!**

Until next time, my friends…

Make it a great day,

Mari!yn

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