This is a book of ‘Inspiration and Encouragement for Anyone Who Was Ever Bullied, Left Out or Pushed Aside’ by Ben Cohen, founder of StandUp, the world’s first anti-bullying foundation, in 2015.
Throughout the book are suggestions to help us deal with the bullies in our life. The advice is inspirational and practical.
- The secret power called “You” – Nobody knows you better than you do, so just keep on doing you, no matter what.
- Who really matters? You, and what you do. Being is the start; Doing is the art.
- Reject the rejections – Just insist upon yourself, just the very act of declaring you. Anybody who tells you otherwise is trying to push a different idea of yourself on you.
- Don’t sign the contract. Bullies want you to enter into an agreement with them because they want some kind of strange, unhealthy, hurtful relationship with you.
- Channel – Getting things clear in your head, and dealing with the truth.
- Use your voice – Share what you’ve been through. When you give away the secret, the bullying gets exposed.
- It’s, like, okay – Get comfortable; you don’t neeed permission to enjoy what you like, what you do,or how you like it.
- Team Up – Find people you connect with through shared interests and curiosities and respect.
- You are not too… (fat, ugly, queer, weird, dark, light, quiet, loud, skinny, weak, anything) – To get through life, you need to be all the you that you can possibly be.
- Get Perspective – Bullies don’t have anything but their own life to focus on so they hurt because they’ve been hurt. The best way to push back is to move forward.
- Be perfectly imperfect – Find your own rhythm, hit your own note and strike your own chord.
- Proof Positive – Saying yes to whatever is right for you and saying no to the bullies. Think how great life would be. Be true to yourself.
- Tough love – The bullies aren’t going to win when you have love tougher than hate. You are strong enough to love you.
- Self-centered or centered self? Include a commitment to do good things for other people, such as friends and family, or for causes that you believe in, such as animal welfare or the environment. The goal is to find a centered self, not so you become self-centered.
- Give and Take – The most wonderful things to give are often intangible eg time, ideas, respect, company, help, thanks and love. You will be surrounded by people who care about you ahd give as generously as you do.
- Stand Up – Stand up for yourself. Get on with your life. Share what you’ve been through.
- Face the Fear – Being strong matters. Know that with confidence, fear, intimidation, bullying, anxiety and shame will not win.
- Wait just a minute – Be ready for the moment of self-doubt that will challenge your feeling, being focused, prepared and strong.
- Don’t Undo because of peer pressure, pop culture or other cultural forces. A commitment is a way of living, it’s about being true to yourself – no matter how old you are or where you go.
- Promise yourself some encouragement, some tough love, some questions, some planning.
This is a small book and easy to read, but its life-changing advice is powerful and will take regular repetitions and practice to be effective. I wish I had read a similar book four decades ago!