Feeling like your part of something is a big deal when you’re growing up.  Jocks have baseball, basketball and football. Smarties have Honor Roll and Student Council.  The popular kids have anything they want, while the rest just wait to get noticed on the sidelines.

Sometimes as adults we forget what it’s like to grow up and find ourselves – if we ever really do.  In recent years, technology has made it easier to be part of groups near and far.  On the other hand, that convenience has also enabled a new age of bullying.  Kids and teens can easily become targets for scrutiny while anonymous posts threaten the core of their self-esteem.  Some are too embarrassed to tell their parents; other try to fight it.  Some can ignore and endure while others can fall victim. 

Maybe the world is harsher than when we grew up, but that doesn’t mean we can’t make a difference.  Time and money are commodities that are hard to come by but volunteering can make all the difference in a person’s life.  Studies on bullying by dosomething.org, has shown that intervention and education can open the lines of communication so kids don’t have to suffer.

Love her or hate her, pop star Miley Cyrus had this to say via Twitter in November of 2011in reaction to some bad press: “By calling girls like me fat this is what you’re doing to other people. I Love MYSELF & if you could say the same you wouldn’t be sitting on your computer trying to hurt others.”  In her autobiography, Cyrus encourages girls to speak up against bullying.

Start an Anti-Bullying campaign in your community.   You don’t need to be a parent or coach or teacher, just a concerned citizen who can help.  Start with some concerned adults, custom t-shirts and a mission.  StopBullying.gov recommends studying community strengths and developing a comprehensive strategy.

Visibility is key to awareness. Identifying the problem can help it stop before it starts.  Show your support, buy or design a custom shirt that says “Bullying is for cowards and I love me!”  Whooptee.com offers both adult and youth sizes.  Make a design, email it to your friends and order online.  T-shirt sales could be used to implement further actions within the community.  Think of the goodwill and credibility you could establish as your community bands together in unison.  It’s not just a shirt – it’s a movement.


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