Sup makers, Nathan here! I don't know if you know, but October is bullying prevention month. I wanted to share my thoughts, experience, and how knitting loops in with it all.
The more and more I knit, the more and more I learn that it's not always about knitting. It is always about making and it's time to make people aware of bullying and how it negatively impacts everyday children and adults. Before we get into it, I want to say thank you to Lion Brand for reaching out to the community for creating such a great awareness movement. Lion Brand has been responsible for so many great things within the community. Also, thank you to Stomp Out Bullying, a non-profit organization who Lion Brand has partnered with to put a stop to bullying. Be sure to check them out on their website and social media.
I would like to say I never experienced being bullied as a kid growing up, but I have. So I relate to every child and adult that has experienced bullying. It comes in so many forms. Physical, cyberbullying, sexual, prejudicial, relational, and verbal which I personally experienced as a kid. It's funny because of the saying, 'sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me' didn't seem to make much sense as an 8 or 9-year-old. The kids I thought were my friends were the bullies. Inside you feel the discomfort of trying to fit in but you feel like if you fit in, then maybe they'll accept you. Well, not knowing a part of fitting in means you must do what they do too. Taking place in bad acts have consequences. I would literally cry alone because I felt bad about something I may have said or done when I got home by myself. I just didn't feel good afterward. What helped me? When I started to stand up for myself and changed the crowd I was hanging around who were a lot more positive and stuck up for me, I noticed I started to feel better about myself. I wanted to share that energy and stick up for others.
There are ways you can help when you see or know of a person being bullied. Explain to kids and adults what bullying is. It can often be mistaken as aggressive playing when in fact someone is actually being bullied. Once they understand they can better defend themselves and stand up for others too.
Bullying happens all around us. Even within our handmade community. Let's not destroy ourselves from the inside out, but make sure we're knit tight. You never know what lose ends a person is dealing with. So think before you speak and let that lead your actions to the right choice.
If you're a maker, then you can also help by spreading awareness. Word of mouth is honestly the best way to spread anything, but as a maker, we all know how much love and support comes from making. You can head on over to Lion Brand's website to create one of 23 hats crochet or knit in the color blue to help spread awareness. Why the color blue? Blue has always been the color of awareness. Share a photo of yourself or loved one in it with the hashtag #HATNOTHATE so they can see it and share too! Don't just let people know you're participating but let them know why. Do you want to take it a step further? Donate the hats to a local school and let them know the cause too. It's likely they're participating in the movement too! Let's get the making and be sure to sport your blue hat in the month of September which is the anti-bullying month. Blue never looked so good on ya!