Speak Out With Courage

Written by Will Carter, Web Communications

When I was younger the idea of speaking out with courage was terrifying. I would call myself a shy kid growing up and trying to find my way in the big bad world. Thinking back to the years of middle and high school, I recall so many times that I wish I had stood up for myself in situations, and been more proud of who I was as a person. Going to a small private school, I remember feeling very unwelcome most of the time because my parents were not wealthy like most of the kid’s parents I attended school with. While I may not have realized it at the time, the word "bullied” really comes to mind as I think back on the way I was treated by others. I wanted desperately to fit in, yet never had the faith in myself to speak out and prove that I was just as good as the next person.

A few years ago, however, I attended my high school reunion, now successful in both my professional and personal life. What I found was that I have more going for me now than a lot of the people who picked on me when I was younger. I think that’s because by the time I went to college and moved away from home I was so angered by my situation that I was determined to succeed. In that time I lost my shyness, and later had a career on television, and now at Forest Institute where I communicate with people on a daily basis.

If only I would have spoken out when I was younger, I wonder if people might not have seen me differently then. In saying all of this, I am saddened to see the constant bullying that still goes on in middle and high schools today. The fact that so many kids have committed suicide in the last couple of years saddens me. One of the national campaigns against bullying right now is called "It Gets Better.”  Take it from me, it does get better.  Do not be afraid of who you are.  Do not be afraid to show your opinion.  Most importantly, do not be afraid to speak out with courage. If you see someone bullying someone else, please say something to stop it. Your voice could end a very bad situation for that person. Remember those who don’t speak out with courage, will never be heard.