Love Versus Bullying
Share Your Heart!
“Do not waste time bothering whether you
“love” your neighbor; act as if you did. . .
When you are behaving as if you loved someone
you will presently come to love him.” ~ C.S Lewis
A Message from Founder/Executive Director, Cynthia Brian
February…the month that Cupid shoots an arrow of love and acceptance and everyone becomes kind to one another. Except, that is not the case. As much as we talk about love and being loving, fear, hate, and bullying persist, often with deadly consequences.
A couple of months ago, my newest children’s book, No Barnyard Bullies, was published with proceeds benefitting Be the Star You Are!® 501 c3 charity. It is a true story that revolves around three main animals: a pampered piglet, a three-legged goat, and a tiny lopped-eared rabbit. The pampered piglet was adopted into my barnyard and immediately stared terrorizing the little goat who was born with only three legs. The additional barnyard inhabitants of chickens, ducks, geese, goats, and rabbits feared this new addition and didn’t help Tripod, the goat, or intervene to stop the bullying. One day the tiniest bunny of the bunch decided he was going to stand up to the bully in the barnyard. I had never seen a rabbit fight, but Monet, the bunny, was fearsome. Every time that Cookie, the piglet, attempted to harm Tripod, the goat, Monet flew into action to stop him. Monet began guarding Tripod day and night until the other barnyard critters stood up to the mean piglet as well. Cookie learned that if she wanted to assimilate into this new world, she would have to be kind and loving. It took time, but today, Cookie is a humungous hog and the sweetest animal in the barnyard, even giving piggyback rides to all of her new friends.
Bullies are made, they are not born mean and spiteful. Bullying doesn’t just appear, it emerges. When children grow up in an environment where criticism, insults, mockery, physical abuse, or a lack of empathy are present, instead of being loving individuals, they may grow up to be bullies, bystanders, or in some cases, the victims of bullying. Children respond to the dominant parenting style they experience.
As parents, caregivers, educators, coaches, and others who interact with children, it is our responsibility to model behavior that is loving, kind, inclusive, and respectful. We have the power to intercede before bullying occurs to help our children learn healthy ways of interacting with others. No person needs to be a bully, a bystander, or a victim.
We must all stand up for love.
I have learned numerous lessons from being observant of the animal kingdom. When love is the principal ingredient, everyone prospers. Life is sweeter and peaceful.
This week I was interviewed by Florida’s most popular garden expert, Teresa Watkins, on the issue of bullying. Tune in at https://audioboom.com/posts/8245921-better-lawns-and-gardens-hour-2-cynthia-brian-no-barnyard-bullies-february-11-2023.
Let’s stop bullying, be empathetic, and share the love.
Remember: Love yourself first.
Have a Happy Valentine’s Day.
Be the Star You Are!®
PO Box 376
Moraga, California 94556
Sponsor Books to Prevent Bullying
Would you like to do your part to stop bullying behavior? Be the Star You Are!® is seeking sponsors to buy the book, No Barnyard Bullies, in bulk at a discount to be distributed to schools and organizations. Our Kindness Coordinator, Karen Kitchel, bought books for every child in a kindergarten class and the teacher created a lesson around the theme. The result was kids cared more for one another. If you would like to scatter kindness and sponsor books for a school or organization of your choice, please email Cynthia Brian at cynthia@BetheStarYouAre.org for more information. Let’s spread love not hate.
Moraga Faire is Returning on April 29th
The last Morage Faire was held in 2019 as the pandemic stopped all in-person events. But, it will again be a day of celebration on Saturday, April 29th, and Be the Star You Are!® charity is excited to participate. If you want to participate in our booth by volunteering or sponsoring, contact us! We welcome you! Mark your calendars as this is a very fun, family faire!
When Quiet is not Peace
By Natalie Hsu
I grew up as a quiet child. And yet, I would never have described myself as quiet.
I didn’t speak often, but I lived in my head and was always lost in my thoughts. Had you asked me back then for the reason, I would have said that the world in my brain was simply a more interesting place. The only issue was, the people around me mistook my silence for a stubborn peacefulness and assumed me to be impenetrably calm. They didn’t know that everything in my head was always loud and confusing, swarming with thoughts that I never felt I could express.
From that period of my life, I learned that quietness does not always signify peace. As we face the world today, we must remember: peace is not the absence of violence or sound, but the presence of kindness and love; peace is not living without tumult, but living despite it and helping others to do the same.
It starts with one. One heart, one smile, one kind word, one book, that might spread the peace a little further.
Natalie Hsu is a teenage writer who volunteers with BTSYA from the San Francisco Bay Area whose goal is to spread kindness, one word at a time. When she’s not writing, she loves playing the piano, reading classic literature, and painting.
Amazon Smile Terminating
Along with other numerous grassroots nonprofits, Be the Star You Are!® was saddened to learn that the Amazon Smile program is ending on February 20th. Although Amazon gave a tiny percentage of each Amazon Smile purchase to the designated charity, pennies added to dollars. You have a few more days to shop through Amazon Smile while donating. Going forward, another great option for your purchases is to use IGIVE where over 2000 stores are featured with extra savings coupons for you. They are currently offering a $5.00 bonus donation through March 1. https://www.iGive.com/BTYSA
Reading in Community
by Julia Howe
Google “book communities,” and over 2,020,000,000 results appear.
You’re just one *click* away from reading “alone” to reading “together.”
Welcome to the online bookworm community, where millions of avid readers swap insights about everything from The Great Gatsby to the newest Percy Jackson! Places like Litsy are brimming with book clubs built by book lovers scattered across the globe, all embarking on a shared journey through the pages.
Stop by a site for burnt-out bookworms challenging each other to a Bronte-A-Day book challenge. Skim Goodreads reviews, each gushing bibliophile inviting you into new reading adventures.
Recently, I discovered the user who had completely changed the way I saw Dune was from Amsterdam. 5000+ miles bridged by a discussion between two voracious readers.
Bookhounds thrive in these communities, diverse in background but connected by a shared love of good books. Make 2023 your mission to enter this new world of reading!
Julia Howe is a teen reader, BTSYA Book Reviewer, and writer, passionate about youth mental health and literacy. She loves exploring innovative education methods and running long distances.
Be the Star You Are!® Honored as TOP NONPROFIT for 2023
For numerous consecutive years, Be the Star You Are!® has earned the honor of being a TOP NON PROFIT. Read what the public, donors, and volunteers are saying about their experiences in collaborating with Be the Star You Are!® 501 c3. Join our Community of Stars! Congratulations to all! Small and mighty!
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Spreading love, kindness, and inclusivity. Happy Heartfelt February!