The Cookie in the Rough

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Flickr / Rick Hebenstreit / Roadside Chocolate Chip / April 23, 2014

“I tried to commit suicide at 16 and now I’m standing here,” he said. “I would like for this moment to be for that kid out there who feels like she doesn’t fit in anywhere. You do. Stay weird. Stay different, and then when it’s your turn and you are standing on this stage please pass the same message along.”

-Graham Moore (2015 Oscar speech)

Over the course of history, world-changing ideas have usually been controversial. The people behind these ideas were sometimes seen as lunatics and were usually looked down upon in a normal social setting. They were harassed, isolated, and oppressed for their individuality.  Nowadays, this is known as bullying. The main idea of bullying is to either mentally or physically harm an individual. I know that bullying is usually thought of as a grade school issue, however, it never stops–we  just found ways for bullying to look more subtle and be more justified.

The targets for bullying are usually isolated people; the ones that don’t fit in; the ones that say weird things that no one understands. Often times, these victims will try to shed their individually so that they may eventually fit in with a social group. In more extreme cases, victims will attempt to end their life in order to escape the constant harrassment. However, there are sometimes wonderful qualities about these victims. If we have learned anything from history, these victims were often the “weird ones”, the ones that were different, the ones that most people thought were crazy, that make history.

Over the weekend, I wrote encouraging messages on sticky notes and stuck them in random spots like cars, trees, even random chairs and tables. The messages said,  “Be Brave”, “Believe in yourself”, “Believe in your dreams”, “Don’t give up”, and “You are special the way you are.” At the end of every message, I wrote, “Pass it on.” These messages were for anyone who has ever felt different, who has ever felt like they don’t fit in, and for the ones that never got chosen as a “goose” in “Duck Duck Goose”. I don’t know who most of you are. I don’t even know what the problem is. I just hope that my messages will be passed on to you either from a stranger or a friend. Just know this:

“When 99% of people doubt your idea, you’re either gravely wrong or about to make history.”

-Scott Belsky (founder and CEO of Behance)

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