Last night a speaker came to campus to talk about bullying. She said a few words–I probably could’ve counted how many–and then she started asking questions. And when we didn’t willingly answer, she stood in silence waiting. And if we still didn’t answer (this only happened once), she walked up to someone and asked him directly.
This wasn’t a typical lecture. It went both ways.
And that got me thinking: bullying goes both ways, too.
I’ve been reading through my archives in preparation for relaunching my blog next month, and paging through my personal history has been both trying and inspiring. At its most basic, it feels insurmountable, and with posts averaging about 1200 words each and over 350 posts, that’s a wall of 0.4 million words to read through, all while balancing committee duties, education, and personal wellness goals.
However, it’s been amazing to watch the evolution of my writing quality from month to month, which has given me hope my blog will continue to improve as time moves on–especially after it’s been visually and thematically remastered in the coming weeks. It has also reminded me of some often forgotten ideas that could continue to bring light into my life if I take my own words, said so long ago, to heart now.
Most amazing of all is how, given time, my words of yesterday have grown into blossoming trees today.
Yesterday, the sixteenth, was not just another calendar day, was not just any old Friday. Yesterday was the Day of Silence, a national youth movement to raise awareness about anti-GLBT bullying, name calling, and harassment in schools. Usually it’s done by mostly by high school groups, but college groups also participate, and ergo, I participated for the first time this year.
It wasn’t hard being silent. Let’s face it, until about a year ago, silent was my usual state of being. What was difficult, however, was what being silent entailed: When people held the door for me, I could not say “Thank you,” and if I were to hold the door for them, I’d be unable to say “You’re welcome” (a fact that unconsciously kept me from holding the door all day). Furthermore, this warranted impoliteness created an impasse when people asked me for help: I’m usually inclined to be helpful, but how could I respond?