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A Question and an Upstander

I have a passion to encourage, inform, and inspire others. It’s why I do what I do. It comes from my experience of child abuse, my perspective on recovery, and lots of stuff I’ve learned since. But what most people don’t realize, is my efforts to inspire survivors and others is drenched in optimism. What?! you exclaim. That’s my point. To change our environment from a focus on what’s wrong, we need to flood the airwaves — every breath we put out — with what we want to see and experience. Replace criticism with curiosity, fear with trust, and disinterest with sincere attention. It really is all about being more kind, interested, respectful, open, and understanding. The more of these qualities we share — by word, deed, and example — the more we demonstrate that kindness is normal and healthy. On that note, I’ve found some pretty cool new resources for my updated edition of Be An Inspiration! (Title change coming soon). Sharing some below.

“Can I help you with anything?”

This short (3:09) YouTube video comes from

I promise it will make your heart smile.


From bystander to UPSTANDER

Stop Bullying is a federal government website managed by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. It has lots of information and resources to help understand, respond, and prevent bullying, including a section for kids and a list of what bystanders can do when they witness bullying. Bullying generally goes beyond teasing and criticizing, and any age can be affected. So the more tools in our toolbox at any stage of unkindness, the greater chance of being able to respond effectively and in the moment. Here’s a partial list of what you as a bystander can do to become an upstander. Visit for more.

  • Question the bullying behavior. Simple things like changing the subject or questioning the behavior can shift the focus. Debbie note: I would add there are times to be clear and simply state the behavior is not acceptable and offer a more appropriate action instead.

  • Use humor to say something funny and redirect the conversation.

  • There is strength in numbers too! Bystanders can intervene as a group to show there are several people who don’t agree with the bullying.

  • Walk with the person who is the target of bullying to help diffuse potential bullying interactions.

  • Reach out privately to check in with the person who was bullied to let them know you do not agree with it and that you care. It makes a difference.

Image source: Pixabay

Upstander list:

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