Today is Pink Shirt Day! The history of Pink Shirt Day, and the courage of the two kids who stood up to bullies is amazing.
I cannot help but ask, would I stand up to a bully on behalf of someone else? Would you? If you are like me, your answer probably came down to “it depends”. But I didn’t always hold back, so what changed?
But First, What is Bullying?
There are lots of versions, but here is my favorite: bul·ly/ˈbo͝olē/ : seek to harm, intimidate, or coerce (someone perceived as vulnerable). 
In addition, Wikipedia also states that bullying is a subcategory of aggressive behavior characterized by the following three minimum criteria: (1) hostile intent, (2) imbalance of power, and (3) repetition over a period of time .
I want to speak to #2- “imbalance of power”. A bully would think it is their right to bully, and the bullied would think they don’t have what it takes to stand up for themselves. The latter is true, especially where they have been bullied for long, and violently so. Plus, the bully projects an image of what they think of their victims, which somehow the victim buys into. Thus creating a cycle of abuse, until….
…there is a balance of power…..
Remember the bully is perceived as vulnerable? Now what power does an already vulnerable person hold? Think on this! So then, who creates the ‘balance’? YOU! Would you who see the situation and walk away, saying or doing nothing? Or would you create a balance of power?
This is what the boys did to make ‘Pink Shirt Day’ a historical moment. They did something, they brought balance to power. By standing up with the bullied, the bully becomes outnumbered.
So Why Don’t We Stand Up? Here are some Lists
#1- We Fear- BUT remember, bullies thrive on fear.
#2- We know the bully personally- When they get bored with their victims, just know they are coming for you!
#3- A part of us think victims like being bullied- No one likes to feel less of themselves!
#4- The By-Stander Effect– Everyone watching thinks someone else would do something about it. This is worse in our world today. Most people would rather video the event than actually do something.
#5- We ourselves have become ‘silent victims’- This right here was why I stopped speaking up for others! Nothing like a blow you did not see coming!
Sadly, those who should have stepped up for me, were plagued by reasons #1, 2, or 4. Also, I find a lot of people are plagued by #5 as I was, and failed to speak for others.
But like David Shepherd and Travis Price said to the bully of that day- “Enough is Enough”! Speak up for someone, you might be their only chance! This is a journey for some (it still is for me), but, start today!
To the Bullied- You have to find your voice! Nothing stops a bully in their tracks faster than the bullied standing up and telling them to stop! This is also a journey, start right where you are!
If you read this, it is part of the journey, by learning about #pinkshirtday. Did you wear a pink shirt today? Share your pictures with us- firstname.lastname@example.org
Feel free to add to the list of ‘Why we don’t stand-up’ in the comment section. I know the list is inexhaustible. Tell us what stopped you from standing-up.
Would you like to share your story (unpublished), feel free to send me a message in the ‘contact me’ below.