Pink Looks Great on You!
Did you know that recent stats suggest that 64% of Canadian children will experience bullying at school and 40% of Canadian employees are bullied in the workplace on a regular basis?
The good news is that we can all do our part to raise awareness about this very important issue. February 22 is #pinkshirtday in support of AntiBullying Initiatives across the nation. This great effort was started in Nova Scotia by two teenage boys who, after seeing another male student bullied for wearing a pink shirt , decided to distribute pink shirts to classmates to wear at school.
Jake Lowell is all too familiar with the pain of being bullied. Growing up, he was a slightly overweight red head and an easy target for taunting. It started with name calling and escalated to physical and verbal abuse when the animated sitcom South Park introduced a game called ‘Kick a Ginger’. Jake often went home from school with bruises on his legs and feeling emotionally beat down.
“Even when people weren’t calling me names or bullying me outright, I still felt it. I was paranoid that every time people looked at me or every time people were laughing near me, it must have been because they were making fun of me. I would tell my folks everything was fine but inside I was growing very angry.” Jake says.
Now a full time university student and the Young Adults Director at The Salvation Army Cascade Community Church in Abbotsford, Jake reflects on working through the pain of bullying.
“In a strange sense, I am grateful that these experiences have shaped my life in the way they have because they have caused me to grow in ways I wouldn’t have otherwise and my faith has grown deeper as a result. I am grateful to have had very supportive people in my life and if I can now provide encouragement, support and hope to someone else; that’s what I want to do.”
Jake will be wearing pink on February 22 and feels that the best thing that Pink Shirt Day does is provide an environment in which it’s okay to talk about bullying and reminds us that “bullies may be bullies for a lot of different reasons, but when we have the mindset that the action is what’s bad and not the person, then we are able to reach out to everyone.”
www.pinkshirtday.ca #Bullying #Antibullying #PinkShirtDay