I haven’t written anything in a while because I’ve been through quite a lot in the last few months. I will address my struggles on another post, but to summarize I was dealing with extreme workplace bullying from my boss. Something I never thought would happen to me, and something that almost broke me. I wasn’t the only victim though, and after almost 20 years at the organization, this bully was finally let go this week.
I work for a prominent “top 5 in America” healthcare facility, and after many incidents, I am currently on a weird leave from my position, where I’m not even sure when or how I’m going to return. I say this to illustrate how you can encounter bullies just about anywhere and at any point in your life.
Daily I think about the way my director treated me and how she influenced people around her to do the same. It didn’t matter how nice I was, how hardworking, or funny. They decided to target me and nothing I said or did would change that. I learned a hard lesson these past few months, sometimes people just don’t like you, sometimes people will be mean to you, no matter how good you are, and there’s nothing you can do about it.
As a mom though, I feel like I owe it to the world to not raise another bully, another person who makes others question their existence on this earth. I’m quite aware that ultimately it is not up to me, the type of person my daughter decides to be when she grows up. But I will sure as hell make a conscious effort to show her (and any future siblings) how it’s so much cooler to be kind.
Kindness starts with us, as parents, so yes, I’m going to ensure that please, and thank you is a part of my kid’s vocabularies. I’m going to lead by example and show them how kindness goes beyond human interactions, but extends to the planet. I won’t be the overbearing parent who overtly pushes an agenda, but I will ask them to not litter, and to not add to the trash and pollution in an unnecessary manner.
I will ask them to be gentle with animals, and to share their toys, the importance of charity, actually listening to others and saying kind words.
Above all though, I’m gonna ask my children to put themselves in the shoes of others. Before you say something, before you react, think about what you’re about to say and how it would affect the other person. How would you feel if this was said to you? And if they say it anyway, and their words or actions bring pain, please be big enough to apologize. We all make mistakes, we all react negatively to situations, we retaliate when hurt, because we’re human, but never be afraid to say I’m sorry.
Of course I also need to help my kids to navigate the thin lines between kindness and having the strength and courage to not be pushovers, but there’s so many people who successfully strike this balance everyday so I have hope for the future.
If you’re reading this, I beg you to think hard about how your words and behavior affects others, what you say can literally be the difference between someone choosing life or death. This is the reality of the world we live in today, so please, be kind.