A couple of weeks ago, something occurred that shook me so profoundly. I was on the other side of the globe (literally, I was in Australia taping The Voice) when I learned that here in the U.S. racism against Latinos had taken center stage. I did what came natural to me. I declared my opinion and defended what was mine… my roots and the Hispanic community that I so adore.
In reality, this is engraved in my blood. To me, bullying of any kind is completely unacceptable. It is something that I instill in Matteo and Valentino each and every day. I think that as parents we have a great responsibility to teach our little ones that life must be lived peacefully; that hatred is not acceptable; and that with love anything can be accomplished. I also think that it is just as important to show them that one must defend his/her convictions; that when one sees an injustice, silence should not be an option; and that standing strong can bring external criticism, but internal peace.
I do agree that life is already pretty complicated. That sometimes we think… why complicate it more? Why not let others lead the fight? However, life is filled with these challenges, and our children will often face them (probably at a lesser level) during their day to day. We now know that bullying is a very big problem… tremendously big problem. We have lost too many kids to bullying, not to mention all those children that have suffered life-long traumas because others use self-proclaimed power to belittle those who don’t feel as strong.
Let’s join our efforts as parents and talk with our kids. Let’s be the example and defend our convictions. Let’s teach them that their voice matters just as much or even more than those who want to see them defeated. I am convinced that this world can change for the better. I am also convinced that it starts at home and that conversation and love are the keys for this change. So I invite you to talk to your kids today. Let’s be an example that will set change in motion!