There are people in our world that seem perpetually negative and petty: those who find pleasure in gossiping or putting others down. As I said recently to an adult (and as I have said to many kids over the years), when someone is petty or mean spirited, the issue is with that person, not the target.
And, as tempting as it is to put that person in his or her place, it’s simply not worth it. On occasion I have tried just that. Instead of feeling satisfied, I was disappointed that I sunk to that level. As hurtful as someone tries to be, we must stand tall and kill ’em with kindness.
I look to the examples of Martin Luther King, Mahatma Gandhi, Nelson Mandela, Jesus and most recently Malala Yousafzai: individuals who were persecuted, tormented or even killed for what they believed in. What I admire most about these individuals is their conviction and integrity even in the face of cruelty.
As a wise administrator once taught me… “Stand up for what you believe in, even if you’re standing alone.”