When I travel the world, I try to meet with people to talk about what's happening in their communities and countries. And one of the things I see wherever I go is that communities that foster tolerance and accept diversity tend to be more prosperous, successful, and just plain better places to live. Strong societies draw strength from the talents of women, people with disabilities, religious minorities, LGBT people and those of diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds. That's just as true in the United States as it is everywhere else.
Today, across North America, students and teachers are coming together to take a stand against bullying. Building communities of tolerance is something every person can contribute to--in your school, in your workplace, where you worship, and in the streets of your town.
If you see someone being bullied--speak up.
If you're being bullied--reach out. To a teacher, to a hotline, to a friend. Know that you are not alone. Help is available. We all want you to hang in there.
And if you are bullying someone else--take a hard look at your actions and the pain you cause. Whether it's physical, emotional, or social-- bullying is wrong.
We can all contribute to more tolerant, supportive environments and to stamping out bullying wherever it happens.