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  • Writer's pictureErin Brown


This morning, my dear boss - who was adamant that he owed me a coffee after I shouted him recently - refused to take my change and with a mad grin, picked up the tab for my chai latte fix, saying "Better make it a large one for both of us - I think it's going to be that kind of day." True to form, it has been a bit of a mad one.

So I'm sitting here on my lunch break, and taking ten minutes out of slicing and dicing my way through my workload in my stubborn refusal to be beaten by a stack of paperwork.

But it's also been really interesting day. I've been taking a lot with a good mate today and yesterday about the lessons we've both learned in our respective lives about bullying. About how - if and when we finally make that realisation that we owe it to ourselves not to be victims - it's important to also realise that if we see other people being victimised, that we owe it just as much to them to speak up. Even if it's intimidating at times.

I don't know. I guess it always reminds me of that fantastic Nelson Mandela quote: “I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.”

It reminds me that we're not weaker - we're not lesser in heart or spirit or intelligence - if we're ever scared. Because it's okay to be scared. But it's not okay to feel like you have no other option than to stay scared, or to be a person that keeps others scared.

I don't think anything steals your quality of life more utterly than fear, and I'm so thankful for all those people and opportunities - even the ones that may have been horrible at the time - that taught me the power of making the conscious choice not to be a doormat or a victim, and to let go of those situations eventually, by actively recognising that bully's actions say more about them than they ever will about you.

So yeah. If you have the chance to use your voice positively today to stand up for something - or for someone, maybe even yourself - I'm thinking about you, and wanted to encourage you. Have courage. Don't let anyone steal your voice, because all of us have a right to be heard.

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