It’s not an easy thing to admit, but I often resonate with the kinds of people we label as bullies.
When I’m angry, I lash out at people, and when I lash out at people, I am very good at hurting them. I once had someone very close to me tell me that I was being a bully – and he was right.
We’ve all been there though, haven’t we?
We’ve felt lost.
We’ve felt angry.
I’ve often felt angriest when I’ve lost sight of what’s important to me, and when I’ve lost sight of loving the whole part of me – warts and all.
For a long time I was really angry because of the shame I felt for being gay.
I wasn’t angry about being gay though, I was angry for feeling shame about it – for allowing society to influence my emotions. Like some kind of shame inception.
Pink Shirt Day came to be because a ninth grade boy at a Nova Scotia high school was shamed for wearing a pink shirt to school. I can’t speak for the bully who chose to ridicule a young boy for the colour of his shirt, but I can speak from experience to say that I lash out the most often when I’m ashamed with myself.
That’s what makes the efforts of David Shepherd, Travis Price and their teenage friends who started the Pink Shirt movement so beautiful, and so infectious. They witnessed anger, and they responded with practical action rooted in compassion and love. By showing up in pink shirts as a group, they sent a message that broke the cycle of shame by showing acceptance. Their pink shirts were a statement –you can be yourself, and we will we support you.
It’s not enough to say that you care. You have to show it. That is what Pink Shirt day is all about – showing others compassion, and showing yourself compassion. Personally, I find it easier to love myself, through showing kindness to others.
At the Duke of Ed, our #pinkshirtpromise is to always show that we care.
The Duke of Ed is a community of participants from all walks of life. It is a community of Award Officers, Award Leaders, and volunteers who come together because they care enough to see youth elevate themselves.
Over the course of the next few weeks, we are introducing our Duke Delegates – 26 young people who personify the Award. And let me tell you – these young women and men are intelligent, passionate, and most of all, they are caring.
Take a moment to read some of their promises, and see for yourself.
And remember; if you can’t find kindness in this world, then it’s up to you to spread it.
Our Delegates #pinkshirtpromise
Lauren "I promise to spread kindness and positivity."
"I promise to treat everyone with respect and to spread love all around."
"I promise to accept you exactly as who you are!"
"I promise to spread peace and love through my volunteer work."
"I promise to treat everyone with kindness."
"Maybe it feels like the end
maybe today seems too hard
but I promise you this isn’t the end
hold your chin up, take a deep breath
you are loved, unique and beautiful
you are worth more than hurtful words
you are not alone!"
"I promise to show love and kindness with my action."
"I promise to be kind and appreciate others. Duke of Ed has helped me practice kindness by allowing me to meet inspiring people that help me to be a better me."
"I promise to be there for someone who needs a friend."
"I promise to promote positivity in my community as a Duke Delegate."
"I promise to rein in my cynicism.
Often in today’s world it is easy to see the worst in people and in situations. It is easy to sit at the back of the room and make sarcastic comments. Duke of Ed has helped me realize that there are so many people who are working to make the world better. Though negativity is easy, it is also counterproductive, which is why my #pinkshirtpromise is to spread positivity by embodying it."
"I promise to be a positive role model for the next generation of leaders.
I will expand in the post about my volunteer experience with the Duke of Ed."
"I promise to help anyone in need and stay positive.'
"I promise to be there for anyone who needs to talk."
"I promise to try to make everyone feel included."
"I promise to always be kind."
"I promise to speak up, stand up, and make decisions to stop bullying every day! The Duke of Ed has taught me how to stay strong physically and mentally and make a positive difference in people’s lives through acts of kindness and love!"
"I promise to accept you for who you are, and to be there for anyone who needs to talk"
"I promise to spread happiness and laughter!"