Bullying among kids has always been a problem. Long before social media and the internet there was always someone to pick on, no matter where you worked, went to school, or lived. Now with the access to so many types of people on social media and the internet, a minute doesn’t go by where I don’t see someone or something being critiqued or ridiculed over.

The saddest part about the rude comments, ignorant remarks, and consistent negativity is that I see it come from not only young kids, but from my peers, mothers, and even grandmothers that feel the need to share their opinion. Since when did we become a nation that has to hide behind screens to say something horrible to someone else, just to feel better about life.  That photo you just left a nasty remark under isn’t a cartoon character or made up image, it belongs to a real person, with feelings, just as you. Not one of us can say we like to read negative comments about ourselves, so why would we do that to someone else?

I wish we could get to a place where positivity and kindness come before bullying. Where we become a people that wake up each day wanting to say something nice to someone else, but I’m not naive and I know that no matter what we say or do there will always be others that need to put someone down. Although we may not be able to reach EVERYONE, I know that if more of us take a stand and CHOOSE to lift each other up then we can begin to change mindsets around the world. It starts with you. One kind word can make a lasting impact. One smile or compliment can create a ripple effect that changes the day for many. Let’s begin with that.

We may not be able to change this epidemic overnight, but we can start with today and see what happens.

I was personally affected by cyber bullying during my season on ‘The Bachelorette’ and I know that each lead after my season has experienced the consistent rude comments that not only target appearance or quirks, but target more personal circumstances that no one should ever hear. Luckily, most of us are in a place to disregard and overcome nasty comments, but how about those 10-12 year olds that are so bullied (in school and online) that they either feel the only way out is to take their own life or to not attend school at all. It seems extreme, but the more we let bullying continue, the more it will negatively effect our young kids and our nation. Find out more HERE.

I hope that today you choose to encourage and show kindness. To be aware of the comments you leave, the words you say, and the way you treat others. Let’s educate others on the negative effects bullying has and stop bullying once and for all, before it begins.