As a kid, I was bullied. From 4th grade to 9th grade, life was hell. I’ll never forget coming home from school, collapsing on my mom’s lap, and sobbing, because I couldn’t escape the cruel words of my classmates. As a father, 20 years later, I’ve held my own broken-hearted children, helpless to defend them from the hateful things their classmate’s say or do. The hardest thing to figure out as a parent is how you’re going to help your child face another day of torture.
That’s why the Berry family will forever be Taylor Swift fans. I know, strange transition. Just keep reading! 🙂
I’m sure if you follow me on Twitter, or Instagram, or even read past posts where I’ve mentioned Taylor Swift (T-swizzel as we fondly call her), you know I’m a fan. I love her songs because they tell a story.
Stories of her past. Stories of her dreams. Stories we can all pretty much relate to.
More than the music, I love how she loves people. All people! It’s widely known that she takes the time to talk to each person she sees at her meet and greets after shows. She even sends personal notes to each attendee noting certain things they talked about. For a celebrity that is recognized instantly around the globe, has over 40 million Twitter followers, and sold out shows everywhere, that’s amazing!
What also makes us fans is her outspoken stand against bullying. We love her song “Mean.” We also believe that bullies are “Liars….and pathetic…and alone in life and mean!” Recently, Taylor did something on Instagram that brought tears to my eyes and changed the life of an ordinary girl in an ordinary town. She commented back on an Instagram picture of one of her young fans, who was being picked on….
Hannahhhh…Reading this made me so sad because I love seeing you in your videos and photos being so happy and wide eyed, like the world isn’t as harsh and unfair as it actually is. I hate thinking about your pretty face covered in tears, but I’ve been in your place. This isn’t a high school thing or an age thing. It’s a people thing. A life thing. It doesn’t stop. It doesn’t end or change.People cut other people down for entertainment because, amusement, out of jealousy, because of something broken inside them, or for no reason at all. It’s just what they do, and you’re a target because you live your life loudly and boldly. You’re bright and joyful and so many people are cynical. They won’t understand you and they won’t understand me. But the only way they win is if your turn your tears to stone and make you bitter like them. It’s okay to ask why. It’s okay to wonder how you could try so hard and still get stomped all over. Just don’t let them change you or stop you from singing or dancing around to your favorite song. You’re going into high school this week and this is your chance to hit the reset button on how much value you give the opinions of these kids, most of whom have NO idea who they are. I’m so proud of you and protective of you because you DO. If they don’t like you for being yourself, be yourself even more. Every time someone picks on me, I’ll think of you in hopes that every time someone picks on you, you’ll think of mee…and how we have this thread that connects us. Let them keep living in the darkness and we’ll keep waking up in the sunlight. Forever on your side, Taylor. [Taken from The Bull 100.3FM]
Wow! Can I just take a moment and say that? You can also have a moment to dry your wet eyes. I love Taylor Swift. The world needs more heroes like her, who selflessly use their powerful, worldwide platform to encourage broken-hearted girls like Hannah.
Parent’s need heroes like her too. I don’t know about you but after I read her Instagram note to Hannah, I felt hopeful. I was encouraged. We need to read stuff like this as we help our children navigate the rough waters of adolescence. We need to know there are good people in this world who care. Not just Taylor Swift, but others like her who really love our kids.
For me, it was Mrs Rose. She noticed that I had been skipping lunch for several weeks when I was a freshmen in high school. She asked me point blank if I was being picked on. She knew she had hit the target when I burst in to tears. Mrs Rose took time to care for me, and not simply because it was her job, but because she genuinely cared. She did something greater than caring- she gave me hope. She subtly, but powerfully, whispered truth to me. She told me I was worth more than the poisonous words my classmates spewed at me.
Because of her, and so many heroes like her, I pour into my own children when this cruel, cold world turns on them. I pour into them because someone once poured into me.
Because of people like Mrs Rose, we have hope and so do our children. We are teaching them to overcome. We are making sure they know they are worth more than empty words from empty people. Because of Taylor Swift’s amazing comment to Hannah, and so many like her, we’re forever fans. We also like her music!
Question: Have your children been the victims of bullying? How did you respond? You can leave a comment by clicking here.
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