“When you recognize evil, speak out against it, and make no truce with your enemies” Havamal, verse 127

When I made the choice to practice,  I made a vow before my gods, allies and  ancestors to  to “bring light into dark places, uplift the weary, teach those that ask to be taught, defend the defenseless and be the voice for the voiceless.”

On this day, there is an amazing outpouring of love and support for our LGBT brothers and sisters. I add my own love to this, I am truly blessed by the LGBT people in my life.

On this day, there is an equally amazing cry for bullying to stop. And I add my cry to this, because this is an epidemic that kills our young people, across ethnic, religious and sexual orientation lines. It is an epidemic that hurts people for the rest of their lives.

Bullying is not a strengthening or toughening experience. Bullying does not make a person more masculine. Bullying does not teach you survival skills for your future.

Bullying is a vicious activity that blights the soul of both the bully and the bullied.

Teach your children to deal with and learn from their feelings of rage, pain, envy and hatred.

Teach your children that you are there for them, that you will help them no matter what.

Teach your children to be responsible for their own behavior.

Teach your children to be self-confident.

Teach your children to control themselves, instead of trying to control others.

Teach your children to defend themselves, both physically, mentally  and emotionally.

Teach your children love.

If your child or any child comes to you and says they are being bullied, take them seriously. Investigate. Address the issue openly and honestly. Insist that other parents, schools and law enforcement react immediately to the threat. Help them heal.

And if your child or any child is accused of being a bully, instead of falling upon them with blame or shame, ask yourself, “Why would this child be bullying others?” Help them understand what frustration or pain or hatred or resentment is driving them to hurt others and themselves. Help them heal.

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