Wednesday, April 11, 2012
Today is International Day of Pink. And it has nothing to do breast cancer. Wearing pink today is about encouraging tolerance and compassion in an effort to stop bullying. Why pink? Well it's a wonderful story and warrants re-telling, even if you've heard it before. The condensed version goes like this:
A grade nine student wore a pink polo shirt on his first day of high-school at Central Kings High School, in Cambridge, Nova Scotia. The significance of that simple fashion choice would have profound consequences that no one could have predicted. The young man, who has never been identified, was bullied mercilessly and threatened with a beating. But, two young men in grade 12, heard about the incident and responded with an attack of their own - Ghandi style. They went into town, bought every pink shirt they could find and then rallied as many friends as possible through Facebook. Hundreds of students came to school the next day in PINK. Needless to say, the bullying stopped. (the original story can be found here)
As a mother of a son who was the victim of a scandalous bullying incident, at FIVE years old, I cannot even express the emotion I feel when I think of this story. Such courage, such wisdom and such kindness......it's no wonder it inspired an international movement. Bullying is a cultural problem, and requires a cultural response. Pink day worked because there was strength in numbers, compassion, and empathy.
Equally inspiring is Lady Gaga's recently founded organization called, Born This Way: "The Foundation is dedicated to creating a safe community that helps connect young people with the skills and opportunities they need to build a braver, kinder world."
Their mission is based on three pillars:
Safety: creating a safe place to celebrate individuality
Skills: teaching advocacy, promoting civic engagement and encouraging self-expression
Opportunity: providing ways to implement solutions and impact local communities.
A braver, kinder world. That sounds like a conscious decision.