My daughter, Caroline, has a kind heart in the truest sense of the word.
Caroline makes a point of introducing herself to people who look like they can use a friend: people who sit alone at lunch, who won’t make eye contact, who everyone makes fun of. She wants to be their friend.
She doesn’t look at people and see how we are different, instead she sees how we are alike. She is compassionate, empathetic, and fearless; especially in her convictions and desire to help those experiencing bullying or loneliness. She has decided that she wants to and can make a difference in others’ lives. She is generous with her greetings and genuine in her compliments. She wants to hear the story, she wants to give advice, and she wants to be there for and hopefully lift up people who are hurting.
Caroline goes out of her way, all the time, to make people that are having a hard time feel noticed and validated. In spite of this, and perhaps because of it, Caroline has experienced bullying herself.
Caroline signed up to share her bullying experience in a film produced by David’s Legacy last year. Unfortunately, and predictably, she was the only one who signed up so the project was cancelled. She was very disappointed because she thought if she could share her experience it might help someone else.
She would like to inspire more people at her school to be more kind, but many are unwilling to take the risk for fear of losing social status or because of their own teenage insecurities. There are programs in place but those seem to put more of a spotlight on bullied individuals, and not in a good way. She realizes this and through her involvement in the groups has strived to make productive changes. She still works daily to promote a culture of inclusiveness.
Recently, a young man at her school told me that Caroline talked him out of a deep depression and that her kindness meant so much to him. There have been many other instances like this if people seeking her advice and solace. If she helps just one person in this way, that would be fantastic; but she strives to help so many more. Her efforts are measurable and effective.
Lots of people may talk the talk, but Caroline D walks the walk. Her efforts deserve to be acknowledged and celebrated. Thank you for considering her.