Being someone who was constantly teased as a child, called horrible names, had kids constantly point and laugh because I was chubby, my immediate reaction to someone being teased or called "fat", or being made fun of for whatever reasons, makes my heart ache and makes me sad. The little 10 year old girl inside me wants to cry, run home and crawl into my bed.
But then the 32 year old mother, who's a lot stronger, has a lot more wisdom, and won't take shit from anyone comes out. I get angry and want to put an immediate stop to what's going on. I will NOT tolerate my kids teasing anyone, making fun of someone or being hurtful to anyone. I will NOT tolerate anyone being mean to my kids, making fun of them, teasing or bullying them.
I teach my children to be kind. I teach my children that everyone has feelings and sometimes what you say can make them sad. I teach my children to do unto others as you would have them do unto you. I teach my children to help other kids that are being picked on on the  playground. I teach my children to play with whomever they like and to not leave anyone out. I teach my children that everyone deserves
As a parent who is trying my damnest to instill good values into my children, when I see this on the internet, I get furious! Who is this kid who could be so bold and think he is better than everyone else? Who is this kids parents who taught him that taking pictures of others and making fun of them is ok? Who would laugh at this? Who is this asshole who calls himself 'European Douchebag'?!
Then something amazing happened and made my heart swelled with pride and respect for this woman. The woman who was photographed gave a very eloquent response to her picture going viral on Reddit's 'Funny’ section for being odd-looking with facial hair.
Balpreet Kaur gave the following graceful and fresh response:
“Hey, guys. This is Balpreet Kaur, the girl from the picture. I actually didn’t know about this until one of my friends told on facebook. If the OP wanted a picture, they could have just asked and I could have smiled :) However, I’m not embarrassed or even humiliated by the attention [negative and positive] that this picture is getting because, it’s who I am. Yes, I’m a baptized Sikh woman with facial hair. Yes, I realize that my gender is often confused and I look different than most women. However, baptized Sikhs believe in the sacredness of this body - it is a gift that has been given to us by the Divine Being [which is genderless, actually] and, must keep it intact as a submission to the divine will. Just as a child doesn’t reject the gift of his/her parents, Sikhs do not reject the body that has been given to us. By crying ‘mine, mine’ and changing this body-tool, we are essentially living in ego and creating a separateness between ourselves and the divinity within us. By transcending societal views of beauty, I believe that I can focus more on my actions. My attitude and thoughts and actions have more value in them than my body because I recognize that this body is just going to become ash in the end, so why fuss about it? When I die, no one is going to remember what I looked like, heck, my kids will forget my voice, and slowly, all physical memory will fade away. However, my impact and legacy will remain: and, by not focusing on the physical beauty, I have time to cultivate those inner virtues and hopefully, focus my life on creating change and progress for this world in any way I can. So, to me, my face isn’t important but the smile and the happiness that lie behind the face are. :-) So, if anyone sees me at OSU, please come up and say hello. I appreciate all of the comments here, both positive and less positive because I’ve gotten a better understanding of myself and others from this. Also, the yoga pants are quite comfortable and the Better Together tshirt is actually from Interfaith Youth Core, an organization that focuses on storytelling and engagement between different faiths. :) I hope this explains everything a bit more, and I apologize for causing such confusion and uttering anything that hurt anyone.”Absolutely amazing!
The Huffington Post yesterday reported that 'European Douchebag' posted an apology to Balpreet Kaur. I'm not going to bother posting his apology because to me it's too late, doesn't seem sincere and the last thing I want to do is give 'European Douchebag' more attention.
What I do want to do is thank Balpreet Kaur's parents for raising a beautiful, kind, and incredibly eloquent woman. She is an amazing representation of how I want my kids to grow up.
As parents, what are you doing to instill values, respect for others and overall kindness for humanity in your children?