Here’s a switch from the one who’s always espousing courage. There’s another story in the news about bullying, today, as the U.S. Department of Education released their guidelines concerning bullying on Tuesday. The incidents at schools and universities are on the rise.
It takes no strength from any personal reservoir (physical, emotional or intellectual) to bully someone because they’re different. In fact it’s probably one of least courageous things you can do. Whether on a grand scale (think the Nazis in World War II) or around the corner and down the street, bullies need to be called out and labeled for what there are – glaring examples of Anti-Courage.
Scottish born Linda Norgrove “made the best use of her life” her friends said at her funeral. They said she was “caring and compassionate.” Most importantly they spoke of her work: “Linda’s life contributed far more than a little to the world. In addition, for the future, the determination of her family and community – here in Lewis, in Afghanistan, and worldwide – will ensure that she will be among the influences that pass from age to age in fruitfulness and blessing.”
Norgrove was working for the international aid organization DAI when she was captured in Afghanistan on September 26 by a group tied to the Taliban and al-Qaeda. She died during her rescue attempt on October 9th.
I marvel at her courage in forgoing the comforts of life to work in the underprivileged areas of Mexico, Africa, Peru and Afghanistan. And I can’t even imagine the courage she must have sought while in captivity. Her life ended too early and tragically. But she was certainly one of the good ones, a true woman of courage.
Just read an interesting piece about the group that called “tweens,” (kids from 8 to 14 who are quite teens, but feel they’re beyond kids.) According to a researcher and author from Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia, these kids might be the most socially conscientious yet. They’re the “We Generation.” They’re doing public good and encouraging others their age to do the same thing. And of course having the world at their fingertips via the internet sure helps!
And how courageous – when you’re that age, you’re frequently disregarded as not having a valid opinion. Or that you’re too young to have experienced life. Or that you’re ego-centric and must have an ulterior movtive. That makes these tweens double winners – they’re great examples of courageous human beings and they’re doing their part to change the world.
Ahhh, but it takes courage to stand up and say, “I’ll help!” Oh, and let me say that the excuse that you don’t have enough money, clout or time doesn’t cut it. Every movement began with one person. And there is great power in ONE. You are one!
Back on American soil. I miss the French bread, English cider and family, but it feels good to sleep in a familiar bed! Great segue … and speaking of feeling good, there’s a wonderful movement afoot. It’s called “Operation Beautiful,” created by Caitlin Boyle. Here’s what it’s all about. Caitlin started this movement to eliminate negative self-talk (which takes no courage) in the hopes it will be replaced by positive self-talk (which takes a lot of courage for most of us!). And guess what? It’s working! She started leaving post-it notes in pubic places that look like this:
She encourages others to do the same, creating an ever-expanding network of messages designed to “change the way we see, not the way we look.”
I love it – courage on lots of levels – being an entrepreneur, making women and girls feel good about themselves, encouraging them to continue the movement. Check it out at www.operationbeautiful.com