The world is a bully.

Imagine your husband was running for political office in a very controversial campaign that dominates almost every headline. You have to give a speech, one that you know will be watched by millions. I would imagine all the beauty and confidence in the world would still make this a daunting task. As soon as your speech starts, the haters come out. Within moments you are a trending hashtag, a meme, and the whole world is taking shots at you. Within an hour you are being ridiculed on every media outlet and the headline writers are rubbing their hand together in glee.

On the playground of life, you are huddled in a little corner by a brick wall while the big bullies stand over you screaming and yelling about how ridiculous you are, and that you don’t have an original thought in your mind. 

I wonder what the feelings are when you scroll through the public opinion on social media and listen to the news later that night? Yes, you knew you were signing up for this. Yes, there is a price to pay when you are in the public eye and your husband produces such polarizing reactions. Yes, you come from wealth and privilege. Yes, there are haters and critics and you can’t expect everyone to love you.

Guess what?

Everyone deserves respect.

Isn’t that the other collective call out there right now?

 Is there no common decency anymore? Not even a shred?

This is not an isolated event. This is not a political event.

Every day there is someone being torn down and dismantled, and there are dances of celebration and glee as another one falls. There’s a daily special of scorn and ridicule and people are lining up to get a plateful. 

I find public opinion conflicting. One day we are moved by the tragedies around us and calling for peace, change and love. The next day our claws are out and we are rejoicing and celebrating what we see as failures in humanity. We mock and we ridicule as our hashtags for compassion change to hashtags that rip and shred people apart.

Stop it world.

Stop being a bully.

At this stage of my life.  I can sort things out, I know that that there are good people out there. I know how to evaluate things from a perspective that has developed over my lifetime. But it’s not about me. 

I look over my should and I remember – 

There is a generation behind us.

Always watching.

We have anti-bullying assemblies with them in schools, we teach them character traits in classrooms and encourage initiatives to build attributes in their life. We tell them to be kind, to show compassion and to speak words that build up and not tear down.

Then, they look out into a world that has become a bully.

They watch adults hurl insults and sludge at each other, and then turn around and create campaigns that encourage children to wear pink because bullying is wrong.

The hypocrisy of our message must change.

If we want a generation of world-changers to thrive, we need to stop this culture of bullying. It seems so naive to think that kindness can change things, but we need a restart. Is it too simple? Perhaps. But the complicated doesn’t seem to be working for us.

Our world is broken up and beat down. My first hope is in my faith, my next hope is in kindness and love taking centre stage. There are kind people everywhere. Not everyone is a bully. I see goodness all around me, but those voices need to rise up and shout loud.

Kindness need to spread.

Kindness needs to grow.

Raise your voice. 

Bring hope.

The world doesn’t have to be a bully.