The Clinton Herald
---- — I am writing in support of and to encourage community participation in the upcoming “Stomp Out Bullying Glow Walk” set to occur on Friday, Aug. 16, at 8 p.m. at Eagle Point Park.
One of my favorite quotes is “Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.” Although that is a line spoken by the mythical Lorax creature in Dr. Seuss’ book (and the subsequent children’s movies), “The Lorax,” its truth applies to all ages, to all citizens, at all times and regarding all issues.
Whether a person has taken on the bully role at some point in his or her life, has been the target of bullying, or has stood by and watched bullying occur, every single person has been or will be affected by bullying. Bullying can happen in homes, schools, neighborhood playgrounds, sports teams and workplaces. The potential effects of bullying cannot be ignored: low self- esteem, clinical depression, suicidal tendencies, anxiety problems, insomnia, stomachaches, a difficult time in future relationships and the possible use of substances to escape emotional pain.
The citizens of the Gateway area are standing up against bullying. A committee of dedicated and passionate individuals — motivated strongly by personal experiences with bullying or loved ones’ struggles with bullying — are organizing the first ever “Stomp Out Bullying Glow Walk.”
Registration begins at 4:30 p.m. Aug. 16 at the Eagle Point lodge, speakers will talk at 5 p.m., and then at 8 p.m. individuals, wearing glow walk T-shirts and carrying glow sticks, will trek one mile around the north loop of Eagle Point Park as a show of solidarity in the cause against bullying. Participants can register early on line at glowwalk2013clintoneventbrite.com or by obtaining a paper registration form at many local businesses.
The Glow Walk committee has decided to give the proceeds of this walk to Bridgeview Community Mental Health Center. As a 10-year employee of Bridgeview CMHC during which time I have worked with area youth regarding bullying prevention, self-esteem, conflict resolution and suicide prevention programming, I am extremely grateful to and proud of our community for uniting against bullying and recognizing the value of mental health education and treatment for those suffering the effects of bullying.
The antidote to bullying is promoting and modeling respectfulness, self-confidence, empathy, compassion, assertiveness and healthy communication skills.
Please, remember that all of us play a role in creating a healthy, positive environment communitywide, in all sectors. Can you be one of the many “someones” who cares a whole awful lot? If so, work to foster those positive attributes in your own life, and please take part in the first ever Glow Walk on Friday, August 16!
Jocelyn Meyer, youth educator
Bridgeview Community Mental Health Center