On my drive in to work yesterday morning, I listened to and laughed along with the hosts of my favorite radio show as they discussed how they were enjoying a pizza. Minutes later, I cringed with disgust as a caller was put through and proceeded to tell them that they shouldn’t be eating pizza at this time because “half of them are overweight.” And then I was proud of them as they stood up to this bully and didn’t let her nasty comments about their collective weight get them down, or worse yet, feel negatively about themselves.
Their plight, and response, reminded me of a video I had seen earlier this week (below), of CBS News Anchor Jennifer Livingston responding on air to a viewer letter telling her that, because of her weight, she can’t possibly consider herself a “suitable example for this community’s young people, girls in particular.” And in her eloquent response, she implored, “To all of the children out there who feel lost, who are struggling with their weight, with the color of your skin, your sexual preference, your disability, even the acne on your face… do not let your self worth be defined by bullies.” However, for every person who is able to stand up to these negative comments and thoughts, there are hundreds of others who don’t or can’t, who are hurt by them, whose self-worth is deprecated by them.
I come to work every day, to a company that was built on the foundation of helping individuals find motivation, improve their self-esteem and self-worth, be proud of who they are, and ultimately live long, healthy, happy lives. And comments such as these make me, make all of us, angry. Angry to know that there are so many people out there who find delight in hurting others, of knocking them back in all the strides they’ve already made. It’s bullying, and it’s not right.
As I’m sure you know, it’s National Anti-Bullying Month, so we here at Robard would like anyone who has been made to feel bad about themselves, who has been called names and has been hurt by the hatred of others, to know that we stand by you and support you. Please know that these people do not define who, and how great, you really are.