October is National Anti-Bullying Month and we need to remember that bullies aren’t just kids. In fact they can be adults who are teaching their kids to be bullies by their own actions! The good thing is that when something bad happens, lots of good can happen too.
We have a new hero and her name is Jennifer Livingston. She is our hero because she turned a bully’s email attack on her into a great lesson for all kids, especially bullied kids.
A very mean man wrote this email to her:
It’s unusual that I see your morning show, but I did so for a very short time today. I was surprised indeed to witness that your physical condition hasn’t improved for many years. Surely you don’t consider yourself a suitable example for this community’s young people, girls in particular. Obesity is one of the worst choices a person can make and one of the most dangerous habits to maintain. I leave you this note hoping that you’ll reconsider your responsibility as a local public personality to present and promote a healthy lifestyle.
What happened next was that our newest hero, Jennifer Livingston, went in front of the news camera and made a statement to the adult bully but more importantly to bullied kids.
Some of the things that she said were, “I am overweight…to the person who wrote this, Do you think your cruel words are pointing out something that I don’t see?…I am much more than a number on a scale… That man’s words mean nothing to me, but what really angers me about this is there are children who don’t know better … kids who get emails as critical as the one I received, or in many cases even worse, each and every day…Do not let your self-worth be defined by bullies.”
This how I said it in my book:
When you really believe in yourself and know how much you are loved and that you are not alone, it’s easier to work hard to get where you need to be. Just ask me!
I know all about that because I experienced in my own life. I wanted to tell you about me because you might have something in your life that is really hard to deal with and you think you can’t have a great life.
Well I did it and so can you. You just have to believe that you can, and you have to something to help you… Maybe you can’t see with your eyes very well or maybe you are bigger or smaller than the other kids. Maybe you eat too much and it causes you problems, or maybe your legs or arms don’t work very well, or maybe your hearing isn’t very good. You might need something like Zoomie to help you work hard and remind you to believe in yourself.
I want everyone to understand that we are all very special and life can be great even if we are different! I want you to believe that too! And don’t you ever forget it!
I am your friend,