Monday, October 18, 2010


It is extremely rare that I’m ever moved by a politician’s speech. In fact, I don’t much like politicians. But this video on YouTube pulled at the strings of my heart:

I applaud Mr. Burns for giving hope to all teens, and particularly to the gay ones. Because being a bullied teenager is hard enough, but being a gay teen that is being bullied is even harder. And I don’t know what Mr. Burns’s stances are on the political spectrum, some of which may likely differ from mine, but if more politicians showed this kind of courage, compassion and raw emotion, it would renew my faith in our leaders. And if more people were as concerned as this man is, the world would be a better place. He makes me appreciate humanity a little more.

Bullying in schools has become a big problem, and it seems to be getting worse as time goes on. And I’m afraid that until we, the parents, get involved in our children’s lives and teach them to respect, to be kind and to be compassionate, teens committing suicide because of severe bullying and harassment will continue to rise. Until we, the parents, teach our children to live and let live, many kids will keep on taking their own lives. And the next one might be your son or daughter.

You don’t have to like everyone. You don’t have to agree with their beliefs or choices. You don’t have to be keen on their lifestyle. And you’re certainly entitled to your opinion and the freedom to express it. But what you cannot do is use aggression and violence (physical or verbal) against another human being – any human being – just because you don’t like them. Or just because you disagree with their opinion. Or just because you define the world in a different way. Every human being has the right to a safe and harmonious life, and to be respected and valued.

(I thank one of my favourite bloggers, Mr. Subjunctive, the author of the blog ‘Plants Are the Strangest People’, for bringing this heartbreaking speech to my attention.)

More of my thoughts on bullying can be found here.


  1. Great speech indeed. And being a kid sucks, it really does. Even the ones that don't get bullied systematically deal with cruel kids. Here is a blog post that touched my heart, and a follow up to it.

  2. Yup, it's tough being a kid; especially a teenager. I'm grateful that my kids haven't suffered that type of ordeal (to date), but that doesn't mean that it doesn't matter to me. Schools should be a safe and happy environment for all kids. Bullies should not rule the schoolyards.

    I checked out the links you've posted. Great stuff! Great blog, too. I added it to my favourites.