Late Tuesday night, in a furious fit of raw emotion, I drafted a post about bullying, suicide, respect, and responsibility . It wasn’t a topic I had planned on writing about; I was driven to write about it. In the wee hours of Wednesday morning, I descended the stairs to finish writing and editing the post I had started only hours earlier.
A couple of hours later, I was joined by my husband for his first (my third) cup of coffee. Our children were not far behind. They are my three faithful editors. Together, we sat at our big, round dining table and they listened as I read my final draft. I searched their expressions for reaction and I struggled to read their faces. My emotions were still raw and my body exhausted.
I don’t remember their first comments, but that post started a conversation. My husband opened up about his memories of school yard teasing before he left for work. My daughters and I sat and continued to talk. We spent the first hour (maybe two) of our school day talking about bullying, about kindness, about the “How would you feel?” question their grandma always asked me and my siblings at the smallest infraction of unkindness. We talked about empathy versus apathy. We talked about their experiences–and mine–on both sides of the bullying coin. It was painful and embarrassing to admit our own transgressions. Perhaps most importantly, we talked about what we can do to make a difference. We talked and we are still talking.
Andy Rooney once said, “If it is any good, I can write it in a couple of hours. If it isn’t any good, it takes a couple of days.” Like most bloggers, (I think. I hope.) there are some posts I feel “better” about than others. This one fell in the “feel really, really strongly about” column. I just hoped others would think it was good, too. I clicked publish and called my sister, faithful editor #4. “I need you to read this, and tell me if I communicated it well. Call me back…” I was nervous, but not because I wanted my post “liked.” Because I felt this needed to be said. I wanted to start a conversation.
“Powerful,” was her first comment. Though physically drained, I felt energized.
The day passed with minimal page views. Before I crawled into bed Wednesday evening, I called my sister and said, “I’m surprised. Not that anyone has to, but I thought for sure I would get responses to that post. I’m kind of bummed because I felt like I was starting something here…a dialog. There needs to be change.”
She responded, “You did start a change. It started in your house.”
Our discussion reminded me that dominoes fall one at a time. However, with the passion I felt, I had really hoped my words would have inspired others to join in the discussion. As I drifted off to sleep, I reminded myself that change has always started with one voice and that I had used mine, with my children and with my blog.
Early Thursday, I awoke to a comment from one of my very favorite bloggers, Deborah Bryan, at The Monster in Your Closet. She planned to post my entry to her Facebook page later that day. I could feel the dominoes begin to shake.
Page views were up Thursday night. I read Deborah’s words about my post on her TMiYC Facebook page. I was so very humbled and grateful. My voice had been shared.
Friday morning another blogger, Christine, at The Dash Between, commented on my post. She shared about the grassroots movement started in her community to prevent suicide. (Inspiring!) Then, she posted a link to my entry onto her Facebook page as well. (The irony here is that I had stumbled upon her beautifully expressed post, A letter to my Daughter: I know what it’s like… the night before and had bookmarked it to come back to, comment on, and share with my girls.) I read her comments, Deborah’s comments, and the comments shared from others on Facebook. Page views went up. Once again, I was so very very humbled and grateful my voice had been shared.
At the end of a busy day, I checked my page views late last night. I read through the comments both here and on the Facebook pages. I responded to the comments left here before I turned out the lights for the night.
Then, as I climbed the stairs, I felt my heart sing for the children whose lives may be forever changed because their voices will be heard.
Change begins with one voice. A conversation has been started. Thank you, all, so very much for sharing your voices and for carrying mine forward.