Written By: Ryan Hesslau
As I sit in the late evening at a picnic table on my college campus I feel the gentle breeze of the fall sky. I witness the small bursts of wind that blow leaves from the highest of the trees to the lowest of the grounds. A leaf steadily rests onto my computers keyboard as I type this and I can’t help but look at this leaf as a symbol of our life. Moments in our lives we feels we are at the highest and strongest points, can also be sudden moments the words we hear or negative actions we feel directed toward us can bring us down to the lowest of the lows. But it is in those times we get knocked off our feet, and lie lifelessly is when we discover our true strength. Our true selves. We discover the ability within us to look at the goodness of the world. We dig up the ability to forgive ourselves as well as others around us, and allow that to lift us back up to the very top. These are the moments when we understand that without hurt, pain or hopelessness we would have never discovered how strong we are in the first place and how these difficult times can truly benefit our life story.
It’s October. Welcome to Bullying Prevention Month.
Remember that crazy statistic? Over 160,000 students in the USA refuse to go to school because they dread the physical and verbal aggression of their peers.
Sadly that number hasn’t been changing. But could it?
Think about it….Could it?
In just two and a half years foreverU went from this Facebook page to a fast growing, teen-led, pro-love movement against bullying. Why have we grown so much in short amount of time is a question that I feel will never be answered. Although there is always this idea in the back of my mind that illustrates an answer for this desirable question.
We are different. We stand out compared to the rest. We are unique. We believe our hearts and minds are the true solution. We are a PRO-LOVE movement….Love is the only CURE.
With it being Bullying Prevention Month I see so many different school and communities come together during this one month. To be honest, this bothers the heck out of me. Now don’t get me wrong, I’d rather them do something than nothing at all. The problem I am facing is that this needs to be a focus of schools, communities, and teens all 365 days of the year. The solution is at our fingertips if we decided to take a leap of faith and give our all to overcome this epidemic.
Here at foreverU we are obviously doing a lot this month since this month is about us, but the point I want to stress every October is that this should not just be one month. This should be forever and always. Taking a moment to take into consideration how what is posted or tweeted, what is said our directed, that it has an impact on someone else. That can be a positive or negative impact. That is up to you to decide. I am also not a huge fan of people who degrade others for wrong doing. We are human. I am human. If I told you that I am a perfect human being, that cares for all people, that always takes the feelings of others into consideration, then I’d be a lying hypocrite unfortunately.
I am not perfect. I want to be real with you.
But here is my point. I’ve learned to surround my life with others who will keep me on track and tell me when I screw up or do something of wrong doing. We keep one another accountable which is so vitally important to ending something such as bullying. The need for relationship and community.
As humans, we struggle with life’s biggest obstacles. We fight them off and do our best to stand tall on our own. But with community…With relationship….With people….
We overcome pain, struggle, desire, anxiety, self-harm, thoughts of suicide. People need people to get through this life when it comes to bullying.
Today’s form of bullying is something fresh, something that has never been seen before and it is something that we should be afraid of if we decide to just sit back and wait to see what happens.
This past year, we have even created our own definition of bullying which is just another reason why we are “different” than the rest.
As the foreverU movement, we believe bullying is intimidation and torment of someone in a weaker or more vulnerable situation with INTENT of harming an individual emotionally, mentally, or physically in return for self-gain and temporary moments of satisfactions through the use of words, actions, and media.
On behalf of foreverU, this month, this movement is about community and the importance of using each other’s life stories to discover who we truly are and how we can express that to positively impact the life of another onto a path of hope, purpose, and revival.
We are the movement that is and will bring a new understanding to the world. That will show others the importance of our unique individuality. We are the movement that can and will help those who struggle being the bully, the victim, or the bystander, those who fight with this society to go to drastic measures to be someone they can never become, and those who have discovered the ability to overcome hurt and pain, through the lives of others. WE are all in this together. This is a battle that can’t be one on its own. It’s time we awaken our souls this month and understand how this world needs us. This world needs YOU. We need YOU.
Because you my friend, are irreplaceable. Keep on growing in your story.
On behalf of all the teens that are engaged in the foreverU movement, welcome to Bullying Prevention Month, and most importantly, welcome to the movement.
I love all of you.
This is one of our new self-help resources available to our Ambassador community. Here we will feature the thoughts, questions, and insight of the our fellow Ambassadors. You can even leave comments of encouragement or feedback to fellow Ambassadors that may be having a tough time.