love. in all ways.

February is fast approaching. The month of love. I don’t think it’s really called that but it’s host to Valentine’s Day so close enough. Some love the holiday, some don’t care for it. I’ll take it or leave it. Of course flowers and chocolates and sweet nothings being whispered are appreciated, but I’m not heart broken without it. I like to think that each day is for showing others we love and value them. Unfortunately, easier said than done.

Andy and I recently watched, I think Dateline, about children getting plastic surgery because they were bullied over their physical appearance. Big noses. Small ears or eyes. Lack of a chin. In other words, things that should without a doubt, not matter at all. Are they less of a person because they don’t have flawless skin? They haven’t quite grown into that nose? They need braces for probably more than your standard 18 months? Of course not. I was taught, as you were probably taught, as I’ll teach my children, we shouldn’t care. People are going to be mean. Hurtful. Cruel. And we need to be strong and know we are beautiful and unique and take the high road. Ignore them. Move forward. Again easier said than done.

It breaks my heart to think that some day my children could come home and been bullied. Or even worse, that they have bullied someone else. (They WILL RUE THE DAY I ever find out they bullied someone though.) It’s our responsibility as parents at the very least to raise decent human beings. To teach them to be kind and respectful. Understanding and patient. We do that by leading by example. -take note that I am in no way saying children who bully have parents with the same behavior.-

Lately I’ve experienced some behavior of others that is far from acceptable. Mean, hurtful comments. Vengefulness and petty low blows. Simply put, being bullies. We as adults are just as easily targets of cruelty, and even with life experience under our belt, it hurts just the same.
So how can we expect our future generation to grow into kind and loving adults when we are ourselves are treating our fellow man poorly? How can we expect our children to be respectful and treat others with dignity when we ourselves are unable to live in the same manner? It makes just as much sense to tell my children “do as I say, not as I do.” The same thought is behind “treats others as you want to be treated.” I’m a firm believer that what you put into the universe, you get back.

Hayden is at an age she mimics all that I do. It makes me as a parent, have to be extremely aware of my actions and choice of words. Because I know that I’m programming her right now on how to react to the real world.
No one is perfect, we all have bad days. We say things we don’t mean. We perhaps use an inappropriate gesture when that lady cuts you off in traffic. We’re human and make errors. That does not give us an excuse to purposely hurt others. To do things knowingly that will cause pain and suffering to someone else. To be blatantly rude and dishonest just to prove a point. And in a world with social media at our fingertips, it’s even worse. There are real human beings behind that screen. Everyone has a side, everyone has a story and everyone deserves love. There are going to be times you want to say something. Times you are just so annoyed with your friend. People you simply can’t mesh it. Such is life. Take the high road. Brush it off. Tommorow can always be a fresh start to a bad day.

If you take anything away from this, let it be, that we should try a little harder to show more love. In all ways.

One thought on “love. in all ways.

  1. Perfectly said! This is my soapbox subject, so bear with me.

    I have had just about every experience on receiving end of bullying. As a child, as a mom of children being bullied, and as a grown woman I have been bullied and have witnessed it with other people. When people bully your children, it is by far the worst in my opinion. I had to stand up to an adult who was bullying my daughter and take him to court. It was made public and then other adults (strangers that we didn’t even know) joined in. They were saying online the most vile, horrific things to my child who was only 15. The courts up here couldn’t help us because Alaska doesn’t have anti bullying laws, especially with regard to online bullying. My son who is gay, has been bullied because of who he dates. He has been threatened, called the worst names, and harassed. I have gone to my representatives, lawyers, judges, everyone you can think of to have these laws changed/updated and no one cares. They don’t think it is an issue and particularly for the gay community. My question to them is how many people have to die before they think it is an issue?

    As for the bullying by adult women to others, I have experienced that as well. One of the worst cases wash when I was a PTA president and nothing brings out the venom with moms like the PTA. Well, this woman Barb wanted to run against me and OMG the claws came out from her. She sent emails making physical threats against me if I showed up for our debate and had her friends taunting me everywhere I went. (We lived in Germany, so the base was very small and everyone knew everyone). One of her emails mentioned something about if I showed up at a soccer game she’d beat the crap out of me so that I would never be able to leave my house again. I’m petite and she was let us just say, a lot bigger than me and I had no doubt she would have. It was the wildest thing to go through that. It was like a movie or something. Incidentally, she lost the election because people didn’t like her (I couldn’t imagine why).

    Whether it is a child or adult, bullying is at an extreme level, particularly because it can be done online where those people feel safe to hide behind their passive/aggressive FB statuses. That old sticks and stones saying is plain bs. Words do hurt, sometimes worse than if you were hit. They last longer than any bruise would and do more damage. People are killing themselves over this and it is just a blurb in the news and that’s it. There is no accountability for the ones who drove someone to that and there needs to be.

    As a mom, I agree with you about being an example for our children. They follow our lead. I swear when I drive, and guess what? So do all 3 of my kids. They also are kind, compassionate human beings and followed that example that I tried to set (more often than not). Of course we are all human, but there is a difference here. Intentionally hurting someone is not ok, ever. I don’t care if you are hiding behind your Bible, your parents, your FB, your friends, or whatever. Bullying is cruel and demeaning on every level and should not be tolerated by anyone and using any of those reasons as an excuse to cause emotional or physical harm to anyone is despicable.

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