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If You Can’t Say Something Nice

8th Apr 2020

Coronavirus (Covid-19) is affecting all of our lives. Things are changing fast and many people are worrying about what it all means for ourselves and for those we love. Those who already live with a mental health problem are facing extra challenges too.

I am fortunate to live close to a park and when the weather is good, I am able to take my exercise outside. Today, I took a different route around the park than normal. I noticed so much more than usual; the different flowers and trees, the squirrel eating his breakfast and the inquisitive geese who also, as I did, spotted the turtle sunbathing on a tree trunk in the lake!

You know what else I’ve seen these past weeks when out walking? People’s eyes. Not glued to the ground or a phone like before, but looking out. Little nods of support, a gentle wave, a stranger saying “Hello. Everything ok?” That sort of thing. People need people. It’s things like this can really help improve your mood, reduce feelings of stress and make you feel more relaxed.

Back home, like many, I’m working from home and using the internet to keep in touch with my friends, family and team members. When used for good, the internet can change the world in a positive way. At a time when everyone across the globe is going through the same thing, the online world should be a place of support.

Sadly, however, for many, it isn’t.

From the playground to parliament, bullying exists everywhere. In fact, this is a serious, widespread problem that is difficult to deal with. Part of that problem is some people don’t care and others don’t realise their behaviour is bullying.

It’s bad at all times, but during a crisis like the one we currently find ourselves in, you’d think that people would pull together and be kind … oh no. We’re seeing so much kindness and support in the offline world but sadly, the keyboard warriors are still out in force.

So why do people do this online? What is it about a keyboard and screen that makes them think they can say what they want – regardless? Of course, we’re all entitled to an opinion – but keep them as that – an opinion. It doesn’t have to be rude or nasty. You know the saying, “It isn’t what you say, it’s how you say it”? That saying really matters. Because having a discussion about a hot topic can be fulfilling for everyone involved when it doesn’t degenerate into insults, name-calling and rudeness.

Just think before you type. If you don’t like someone’s status – move on, hide or delete it. If you follow an individual/organisation/group etc, don’t stay there just to post nasty, negative comments – unfollow and join something that interests you.

Be kind – kindness really does matter. People really are struggling right now and may not always shout about it. Kindness won’t make Covid-19 go away, but it will make our lives easier and more rewarding.

Remember Thumper from the film Bambi …….. 😊

Stay safe and well x

Why not display one of our #kindness posters … we have #kindnessmatters tee-shirts too 😊

Linda James MBE, Founder, BulliesOut

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