Wednesday was Pink Shirt Day. In some other provinces, the last Wednesday of February is called Anti-Bullying Day. Its "pinkness" sprang from an incident in a Nova Scotia high school that captured national attention. Some Grade 12 boys heard that a new-to-the-school Grade 9 boy had been called a "fag" and threatened for wearing a pink polo shirt to school on his first day.
About a dozen of the Grade 12 boys went to a discount store and bought 50 pink tank tops; others spread the word. The next day many students wore pink to show they did not support the bullying.
The point of the day reflects what those Grade 12 boys did and reinforces a simple message: Take appropriate action. They chose a way to stand up to bullying, while avoiding confrontation.
There is a lesson here in empowerment for all those who have felt too uncertain about confronting bullying: the majority are allies. There is far more good than bad in our world. Seek it out and enlist its help.
Those who seek to inflate their own worth by demeaning or intimidating others are likely in trouble as well. Physical aggression is most commonly learned in - or in the absence of - a home environment. Early intervention can make a difference, but that requires others to speak up. We can all help to empower others. In doing so, we make the immediate society in which we function a better place to live.