All Posts By

louise@foreverkindness.com

In Health and Wellness

Dear Stress – I’m breaking up with you.

 

The review of ‘Dear Stress -I’m breaking up with you’, which is a part of  ‘Dear Women Guide Book Series’,  couldn’t of come in my life at a better time. I myself am at a turning point with my work, my relationships and with mid-life issues so it is without saying that I am experiencing a significant amount of stress. Can we say: THE S WORD?? Stress, a norm in our everyday lives,  has become more of a subjective term then a scientific one.  Here, well-known author Ky-Lee Hanson presents an amalgam of stories for women written by a selection of 17 women co-authors who, by sharing their own life experiences dealing with stress, help and inspire other women to do so.

This book is not only an easy read, it is cleverly divided into 5 sections making it easier for the reader to understand the different types of stress and how to either eliminate or deal with it. Wether read linearly or picked at by story, it definitely delivers many realizable solutions. These are creatively put forward in each individual story in the form of suggestions, recommendations, explanations, lists, poems and quotes from everyday women that are easy to relate to. From teachers,  mothers,  business women, to physicians these women have suffered from stress, wether internal or external, and they each offer their unique perspective on how to overcome its grip.

The first section ‘The Weight Within’ deals mostly with the negative inner dialogue we women have. I found there many ways to change ‘stinking thinking’ into gratitude. Stress can make us or break us: that is our decision. We can accept to be victimized by stress by holding on to it and stay ridden by guilt and shame or we can see stress as a great teacher and learn from it.  Knowing this is not an easy task, this part of the book offers many ways that women can identify what is good stress vs. what is bad stress and in the second hand use self-development and learn how to turn negative experiences into positive ones.

Many women who juggle family life and work will find solace in the second section ‘Family Matters’, which helps women prioritize themselves and encourages them to give up their ‘limiting’ thinking. Living for yourself is not an easy task for mothers who often feel guilty by putting their needs first. In these stories women will find ways to prioritize and organize their lives as to lessen stress and be more joyful.

Next comes ‘Healing the Body with Knowledge’, which addresses the educational value of understanding internal and external stressors and their link to illnesses. There the reader understands the underlying causes of stress, such as fear, and that not all stress is detrimental to our health. Some types of stress are only problematic if they are at an unhealthy level. Here there are many examples of the relationship between stress and disease with solutions and even recipes which promote health and therefore reduce stress.

The book then moves on to ‘More than just a girl’, which deals with the injustices we face today,  just by being women. In this part of the book women share how they overcame stereotypes and limitations by accepting stress and how they found ways of letting it go –  forever. Although the unfortunate reality is that we are not socially and economically equal to our counterparts these women have found ways to break free from the ideas we have internalized as women either from the culture we grew up in, from injustices we have endured or from our parents belief system. It is an enigma that in 2017, wanting equality for women is seen as feminism and has a negative connotation. I just loved how these women cheer others on to stay true to themselves and to just go for it!! Why not? Are we not meant to be equal after all?

The last part of the book, ‘The break up with no return’,  is written by the author herself and digs deep into the importance of communication. Talking about our issues is the first step in moving away from them; and this fact is important in all areas of our lives. Women are encouraged to really connect with themselves: physically, emotionally and spiritually.  All in all, the author stresses how women often crippled by stress, miss the boat and realize that their lives are passing by them which leads to depression and low self-esteem. Hanson, by motivating women to ignite this change in their lives,  helps women move from a dark place into a place of light and peace.

Stress will always be an inevitable part of life but after having found so many ways to break up with it, I can say that I no longer have a reason to keep enduring it and, with a big smile smile on my face, I can dearly say: GOODBYE STRESS!

Dear Stress: I’m breaking up with you is available at all bookstores and online

 

In Animal Rights

Animal welfare across cultures

A friend of mine called me and suggested I write about the Yulin lychee and dog meat festival which takes place in China every year during the summer solstice. I was reticent to do so due to the morbidity of the story but being an animal activist I cannot turn my head the other way. What I discovered was way more gruesome than I could ever of imagined.

The practice of eating dog meat in China can be traced as far back as 400 years ago although the Yulin dog meat festival began in the 1990’s. The dog meat trade is quite barbaric given the fact that household and stray dogs, which account for 80% of these animals, are hunted and  killed by poisonous darts, crossbows, metal traps and nets. The dogs that make it alive to the festival are packed in wood or steel cages, paraded around the grounds, and hung alive in order to be displayed to potential buyers.  Tens of thousands of dogs are severely abused during this 10 day festival. They are beaten and put into bags alive.  When bought they are skinned (sometimes alive) and then cooked.  I admit I was outraged and disgusted at the gruesome images and videos I watched in order to write this story.

The dog meat trade seems completely appalling to us North Americans but it is practiced in some parts of the world mainly in Asian countries such as China, Thailand, Korea and Vietnam. Disgusting?  Sure. But the real shocker is what I found out while digging for information: dog and cat meat consumption by humans is not explicitly illegal in Canada.  According to an article published in 2015 in the Toronto Star four dog carcasses were found in the freezer of a Chinese restaurant in Alberta in 2003 and the local health inspector said there was no law against it.

“To be available to serve in a restaurant and for the public, the meat has to be inspected,” Capital Health Authority’s Nelson Fok told the CBC.

The slaughter of animals for food in Canada is a provincially licensed activity, which means meat plant operators must obtain a license.

“For a meat plant operator to obtain a licence for dog meat, it must be proven that the slaughter of dogs fits within the definition of food animals,” said Susin Micallef, a spokesperson Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs.

Animals raised for food have to be kept in captivity and raised for the sole purpose of human consumption with the exception of hunted game animals.  Therefore for a meat processor to obtain a license to slaughter dogs for food, it would have to prove that the dogs were raised solely for food and were never meant to be pets.  There are no provincially licensed plants approved to slaughter dogs although this practice still exists being pushed underground due its unpopularity and regulations.

The role of the Canadian Food Inspection Agency is to set the standards for meat inspection across the country and to regulate meat importation. Fortunately there is no category for dog meat. But I still find it hard to believe that in 2017 Canada has no animal-rights law which would completely forbids this practice. In my opinion no animal needs to be killed in order to feed, clothe, entertain or be experimented on for human gratification; let alone the ones we view as our companions.

I myself am vegan therefore I do not eat any animal or animal by-product and this decision was partly due to the torture that farm animals endure in industrial farming.  I truly believe that animals are sentient beings and that the non-existence of laws regarding the prohibition of dog meat production as well as the lack of laws concerning the welfare of animals in industrial farming in Canada is nothing else but disheartening.

What can you do to help? There are many organizations you can support in order to help end the suffering of these animals.  You can also make a difference by not consuming animals or at least reducing your intake of animal products, putting your money where it matters by supporting companies that take animal rights into consideration, putting pressure on governments by signing petitions that protect animals, donating to animal welfare organizations, saving animals from a life of suffering by adopting one or sharing this information with others as to raise awareness. I listed a few organizations where you can help as a suggestion:

. The Humane Society International

. Animal Justice Canada

. Stop the Yulin dog meat festival

. Stop YuLin dog eating festival

Please help end the needless suffering of animals which has been going on for far too long. Together let’s give animals back their inherent rights and freedoms and by doing so making this world a gentler place to live.

In Society

Where has our humanity gone?

One of the question that seems to rise often these days concerns the whereabouts of our humanity. But what is considered humanity? Although the words human and humanity share the same origin there is a vast difference between being human and being humane.  A human is different from an animal or a plant because of its capacity to rationalize, compute, and communicate through a language for example where as humanity represents the sympathies and frailties of human nature such as kindness and weakness. I have always wondered why we humans believe that we are superior animals when we are the only ones that suffer from inner conflict. This internal conflict between good and evil, logic and emotion is a trait that characterizes us and leads us to make choices between these two paths.

Social medias are being flooded with disastrous stories for the simple reason that those stories have a vaster audience. Loads of people are amused by stupid and disturbing acts of some particular people which in turn makes them more powerful therefore more dangerous. Focusing on the degradation of our collective conscience has become a terrible addiction. Millions of us feel amused and entertained by what is actually the tipping point in our history let alone our survival. The urgency of our situation as a species is well hidden behind the power and greed of corporations, governments and individuals.

The most disturbing fact of today’s collective conscience is the attention we give to the negative aspects of our world without looking for a solution that is humane. Hasn’t history taught us that hatred and violence just breeds more hatred and violence? What is inherently wrong with us that economic and social gains mean more then the survival of our own species? Kick me if I am wrong but doesn’t every religion prone love and kindness towards each other and towards all of God’s creations? History keeps repeating itself like it never happened in the first place. As Albert Einstein famously said : “the definition of insanity is repeating the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.”  It doesn’t matter how rich or how popular you are if there is no more planet for us to live on. This issue should be at the forefront of multi-nation discussions. It’s just common sense. Ronald Reagan once gave a speech at the United Nations where he implied that if Earth was to be attacked by aliens we humans would have to unite.  Christians, Muslims, Jews, Black, White, American, Russian whatever; we would be one at last. No more wars over religion, no more borders, no more differences.

Kindness is not just a quality, it is a necessity. Kindness is the only solution that I believe we humans possess; it not only gives us hope it also gives us peace.  My only hope is that we teach and educate humans kindness and with that, make the world a more humane place for all species to live.

In Environment

The battle of good and evil in rainforests

I was inspired to look into the violence that has been happening in rainforests around the world such as in the Amazon in Brazil after I read the story of Sister Dorothy Stang, an American nun who was gunned down by a rancher in 1984 and was left to die in the mud in the middle of the Amazon. Sister Dorothy was a rainforest activist who had dedicated her life to the protection of this majestic forest from deforestation in the name of profit for mining industries, the clearing of trees by ranchers and loggers, to logging companies and for electrical companies generating cheap electricity to a majority of Brazil’s industries subsidized by the government.  The battle between good and evil in these rainforests is a nightmare that began well over 50 years ago and their paradise on earth has been depleted to nearly half of their original existence. Sadly little of these forests will be left by the end of the century.

The Amazon, commonly referred to as “the lungs of the planet” is being destroyed one day at a time.  Every minute close to 50 acres of rainforests around the earth are being ravaged.  Why is this so important?  Because the Amazon’s trees, as well as the ones in other rainforests, help regulate the planet’s whole atmosphere by turning the Carbon Dioxide we humans propel into the air with our planes, trains, cars, buses etc.. and turns it into Oxygen.   Therefore its understandable that these rainforests  have a huge impact on temperature regulation. Governments around the world are spending millions into building facilities to do what nature provides us in the first place and these trees do it for free!

Of course this can be argued in many ways but when you really look at the facts they are quite bewildering. For example, the Brazilian government borrowed lots of money in order to build dams so as to sell cheaper electricity to its industries. Only it has done so in unneeded proportions to the point that these damns have flooded massive parts of the Amazon where tree tops are sticking out of the water rotting away,  leaving foul smells and diseases that did not exist in those regions before. This war between big industries and the indigenous people living on these lands for generations is understandable since these people are not only fighting for what was theirs but also for their inherited way of life. Ever since rich white men have started building roads through the Amazon the situation for the forest and its inhabitants, humans and animals alike,  has degenerated into a critical situation. Villages are being destroyed,  waterways are being polluted and the wildlife is losing its habitat at an alarming rate. Millions of trees are burnt and thousands of different species are killed every year to give room for one single animal:  the cow. Unfortunately the truth is that the meat industry is a very lucrative business the demand for beef rising every year. Wether you are worried about the animals, the birds or the rainforests future, you should be evenly worried for it’s activists that are being gunned down because they are standing up for what is right.

 

Satan surely has his pitch fork planted in these forests! In 2015 there were 185 killings across 186 countries Brazil topping the list with 50 murders followed the Philippines with 33.  Out of these assassinations only 1% make it to court and someone brought to justice. These rainforest activists are victims that didn’t deserve to die in the name of “progress.” Not only are they non-violent, they protest in the tradition of Gandhi and Martin Luther King by surrounding themselves around trees in order to raise awareness for their dire situation. Referred to as the Angels of the Rainforests they should  be protected certainly not ignored nor slaughtered . Their entire history and customs should be respected not disintegrated into nothingness. I always thought that standing up for what you believe in a pacific way sign of wisdom?

What can YOU do to help is the main purpose here.  I believe that to make a difference you have to put your money where it matters.  I myself do not support the cattle industry partly because of this situation but also for animal rights. Whatever your reason I find it very difficult to turn my head the other way knowing these facts concerning the violence against environmentalists in rainforests across the world. This situation is extremely complex and hard to fix but there is always hope. There are  organizations that you can help by making a donation such as the Rainforest Alliance which was established in 1986 and has never given up the fight. Great people die for their convictions while others prefer to ignore the truth. Don’t be a wuss. The Rainforests and their inhabitants are in dire need of your love. Let’s not support the destruction of the planet’s lungs… instead we can support industries that emit a lower carbon footprint and we can surely eat a lot less meat!

In Health and Wellness

A guide to vegan bodybuilding – how is this possible?

Please watch the video it is full of information on how to transition into a Vegan Bodybuilder diet and maintain it as well!

Since I have been writing this blog I get asked this question mostly by men very frequently: how can a build muscle mass on a plant-based diet? This is not only possible it is actually better for your health, for the animals and for the environment as well. A plant-based diet reduces the risks of heart disease, diabetes, cancer and so on.

There is a vegan revolution going on and yes! it has entered the world of bodybuilding. Most athletes turn to foods that are rich in protein but are animal-based such as eggs and lean meats. A plant-based diet is less acidic and actually contains a lot more nutrients. The amount and type of fuel your body needs varies with the intensity of your workout therefore is different if you want to build muscle and lose weight, only build muscle mass or just maintain it.

Eating every 2 to 3 hours maintains your metabolism and helps you train better since you are giving your body nutrients to recover. What does this type of diet look like?

60% Carbohydrates: oatmeal, whole grains, starchy vegetables such as potatoes, whole corn, brown rice, whole wheat pasta, and quinoa for example.

20% Proteins:  tofu, tempeh, lentils, beans, nuts and seeds, dark leafy greens, soy beans and mushrooms and much more.

20% Fats (rich in monounsaturated fats) such as avocados, nuts and seeds, olives, hemp oil, coconut oil, tofu etc..

I recommend you visit the sites below in order to really understand your nutritional needs. A vegan diet is a great way to build muscle mass and if you are an animal activist then you will become a great role model for the animal rights cause.

 

Here are some sites to visit to help you understand , get inspired and also get great tips and recipes:

www.veganbodybuilder.org

www.veganbodybuilding.com

www.vegansouls.com

www.consciousmuscle.net

 

In Health and Wellness

The Lov movement

Unless you had your head under a rock for the past few years you certainly have noticed that there is a big movement towards healthy dining. Restaurants such as Lov in Montreal are popping up everywhere around the world. It is with no surprise that Dominic Bujold, a key player in the restaurant business with many successes under his belt such as Sushi shop and M4 Burritos,  jumped on this train-wagon in March 2016 when he bought the notorious Crudessences two establishments in Montreal.  Armed with this knowledge Bujold knew exactly how to please this new trendy and health-conscious clientèle.

The concept of Lov is exactly how it sounds: charming. How can anyone resist its appeal? From its location in Montreal’s Old Port to the green-on-white flowery tapestry everything about Lov screams healthy.  Bujold’s vision is to offer a menu that is fresh, of quality, and within a reasonable price which  Lov definitely delivers. Add to the mix 5 star vegan chef Stéphanie Audet and voilà!  Lov’s light and stylish atmosphere is very inviting and so is its lunch and dinner menus which offer many choices of succulent entrées, salads and main dishes most having the option of being vegetarian,vegan or gluten-free. This botanical kitchen which employs as many local resources as possible is not only eco-conscious but by putting vegetables and other superfoods at the forefront is also purifying and energizing.

Chef  Stéphanie Audet, a rising star since her debut at Tofino in 2006,  creates real magic with the already favoured Roast Beets Salad with cashew cheese in a pastis vinaigrette, the Croquettes de Quinoa which are gently fried and accompanied with a curcuma mayonnaise, and the Sweet Potato buckwheat gnocchi with a hemp and basilic pesto just to name a few. Lov’s wine selection doesn’t disappoint either by offering an impressive list of organic wines well worth the try.

I so enjoyed dining at Lov I am not surprised that with its huge success I had difficulty booking another table. I suggest calling at least 3 days in advance if you want to dine at the peak hours. I was thrilled to find out that they will be adding a Menu du Jour and that Week-end Brunch will soon be offered.  With a take-out counter in the future as well the only problem I believe Lov will have is a traffic jam at their front door!

Lov is situated at 464 Mc Gill Street, Old Montreal and is open Monday to Wednesday 11:30 am to 10 pm, Thursdays to Saturdays 11:30 am to 11 pm and is closed on Sundays.

For more information and to book a table online visit www.lov.com or call 438 387-1326.

 

In Society

Giving hope to humanity – The story of Vasilis Tsartsanis

This is not a story about politics. This is a story about courage, love, and kindness. I found it impossible to watch the video about the life of Vasilis Tsartsanis and not feel touched by it. This is a great example of courage and selflessness. A true gem amongst the headlines that are flooding the media today. This is why I felt it was important to share it with you.

Tsartsanis a common man like any other had the courage to stand up and follow his convictions. Although his actions placed him in great danger nothing stopped this gentle giant. This is a story that demonstrates the values that we as people living on one planet need to posses if we want to live in peace and, facing all the wars that are presently ongoing,  also need to survive as a species.

While doing research for this blog there was very little information about this man. Yet he is a true example of what I consider a hero. Unfortunately these are not the kind of articles that sell magazines.  Hence why I felt this man deserved to be showcased. I hope it will inspire you to be kind to others and to follow your heart because after all we are all equal in God’s eyes. I urge you to do an act of kindness everyday because kindness does last forever to those touched by it.

 

In Society

The solidarity of fair-trade shea butter

Whilst the women of the industrialized world reunited and marched against the Trump Government in order to protect and strengthen their inherent rights within a democratic society, forgotten are the West African women who are not only fighting for their education as well as their children’s but for their utter survival.  It is abominable that in 2017  these women remain in the shadows of their sisters from across the ocean.

With this in mind I contacted a Quebec company, Karité Delapointe,  which I knew dared go down the road less traveled, the fair-trade road, and which I knew held these women close to their hearts. To be fair-trade one must be somewhat inconvenienced but to my astonishment Praxède Lévesque-Lapointe, the co-founder and owner,  clearly explained to me how it wasn’t as difficult as one might think to be a fair-trade enterprise. She also explained how the benefits definitely outweigh the responsibilities. I listened to her talk passionately about the 5000 women Karité Delapointe help in the countryside of Burkina Faso. When I asked her what was her best memory upon meeting these women in person Lévesque-Lapointe responded: ‘ their smile‘ . That being said it was easy to understand her conviction.  “But why aren’t more companies fair-trade“? I wondered. The answer she gave me is quite startling: because it entails organisation on the African side. Even though The Center for International Studies and Cooperation (in Canada) is there to help put everything in place, fair-trade is still a very small part of our economy. Why? Because companies don’t care enough to be slightly inconvenienced. Not to mention that there is barely any economic impact on a company for it to be fair-trade although it means the world to West African women. Without fair-trade once again Africa gets the raw end of the deal. It is without saying that Karité Delapointe pays about 3 times the going rate for shea butter but when you think of the ‘regular‘ rate it is so ridiculously low that it’s no wonder that some families remain poor and hopeless.

Shea butter often called the ‘green gold’ of Western Africa where it grows is their only solution against scarcity. The harvest and transformation of the shea nut has traditionally fallen on the shoulders of the West African women solely due to the false belief that men in contact with shea brings them a lifetime of misfortune. While men harvest crops in the fields women are responsible for the hardest and most lucrative labour, the harvest and transformation of the shea nut into shea butter. This conversion was traditionally done by hand but graced by the economic spinoffs of fair-trade, has permitted these women to purchase industrial equipment in order to lessen this burden. The best advantage I believe remains in their reclaimed dignity and power in the face of the adversities of living their lives in Third World conditions.

Fair trade not only gave these women the freedom to work when they wish, a job that pays them directly through the organisation of a co-operative, but also the opportunity of educating themselves and their children, and the institution of nurseries to take care of their children while they work. Basic women’s rights and well, natural rights and freedoms that we modern-day women take for granted since we have earned them eons ago.

Having made my plea I urge all the women (and men!) that read this article to please hold these women close to your hearts because you too can make a difference. Buying fair-trade is much more powerful then donating money to charities since it can be traced right back to the worker. The evidence is there and so is your choice. As Lévesque-Lapointe said: ‘If everyone had a pot of our balm in their house, imagine what kind of an impact that would have on the living conditions of these women of West Africa.’

Karité Delapointe which is the only Fairtrade Certified shea butter importer in Canada, offers 3 products which mostly contain pure and organic shea butter: a balm which hydrates and regenerates the skin, a conditioning lip balm and a luxurious soap, all offered in 3 fragrances: Douceur, Fruity and Freshness  or in unscented. They are also working with incorporating fair-trade cacao in a new line of Orange-Cacao products which will be available soon. You can visit their site www.karitedelapointe.com to place an order. They also sell in bulk! So whether it’s to soothe your chapped hands this winter or to buy fair-trade shea butter for your own company don’t forget the ones who are at the forefront and are paving the way for other products to become fair-trade. Do the right thing. Buy fair-trade and think of this:  you are also putting a smile on a West African woman’s face…priceless isn’t it

TO PLACE AN ORDER PLEASE CLICK HERE:

www.karitedelapointe.com

 

In Animal Rights

A victory for animals

My interview with Camille Labchuk from Animal Justice Canada

It is not a coincidence that I got to interview Camille Labchuk, a criminal animal rights lawyer,  on no other day but Martin Luther King day. The fight for animal rights and to end animal cruelty is in its essence the same fight as the civil rights movement. I myself being an animal activist often stopped and wondered if the battle for animal rights was even worth keeping up;  it seemed nothing was really happening and that changing the mindset of the collective conscience was an utopian idea at the most. After my interview with Labchuk I was not only enlightened but my view of animal activism had completely changed. I now firmly believe that we can end animal cruelty. How? The same way we ended slavery and gave women rights. The same way the civil rights movement gave African-Americans equality. Nobody thought at the time that those changes would ever become reality but they eventually did. It is without saying that change starts with an idea then becomes a movement and with time becomes the norm.  It is eminent that Labchuk, being at the forefront of this battlefield, would remind herself of the importance of her work with the words of the great Martin Luther King.

Why is this so important? Because we have been brainwashed into forgetting about animals and their welfare. We have been ripped from our inherent nature of caring for animals. It is natural for a human being to not want to harm an animal yet we kill and torture them daily and by the billion every year. Is it not true that when someone purchases chicken wings,  a carton of milk or a pair of leather shoes for that matter that they don’t have a single thought that this product comes from an animal, that the animal suffered its entire life and that in all fairness this is solely for economic reasons. Long gone are the days of the small farmers with animals living somewhat normal lives. These are the days of factory farming where not a single animal lives with any sense of respect. From the moment they are born to the day they make it to your plate these animals suffer horrific conditions and there is only one single law that protects them: the last day of their short life when they are transported to the slaughterhouse and this is only for food safety, not even for the welfare of the animals. Sigh.  It is perfectly legal in factory farming for us human animals to confine, abuse, torture and kill birds and other animals as we see fit.

Labchuk explained how we Canadians do have laws and regulations in place such as the condemnation of puppy mills and cruelty against cats and dogs, for example, but we are far away from animals having the same rights and considerations as we human beings have. Since 2008 Animal Justice has been the leader of the pack in Canada by intervening in ongoing cases involving animals, pushing the Federal and Provincial Governments to change and make new laws concerning their rights and freedoms, and by doing so are embedding animal rights into the social conscience.

Nothing evades Animal Justice Canada as you can see when you visit their website www.animaljustice.ca. There you can educate yourself on ongoing issues, sign petitions and write letters to help them further their cause. You can also donate some time or some money. I urge you to sign ‘The Animal Charter of Rights and Freedoms’ which is featured on the front page and if you scroll down a little  you can also write a letter (made easy for you by them stating all the points that you should include) in order to pressure the Canadian Government to better its outdated and negligent Animal Transportation Law which frankly is so archaic that not only is it inacceptable within a modern society,  it is a total embarassment for Canada.

Labchuk an ethical vegan herself is definitely the real deal. Not only is she following in the footsteps of the great Gandhi by being the change she wants to see in the world and by understanding that the greatness of a nation can be judged by the way its animals are treated; I would not be surprised if someday she would be remembered as one of our brightest and bravest citizens.  I am truly inspired by her wisdom and dedication and I hope that you will be as well. God knows its the time for animal suffering to end and He has well chosen his warriors.

 

 

 

In Society

Fighting bullies with kindness

When I had the idea of writing this blog I was truly inspired by kindness. Kind people have saved my life and have  installed in me a sense of self that I am proud of.  I believe that we live in a world where we could solve many of our problems with this virtue. Unfortunately and to my own dismay I have been a target of bullies in many shapes and forms: I have been called names, put down, threatened, harassed, and denigrated. I have had spam with horrible messages posted on my personal account all in the joys of someone else trying to disrupt my emotional stability. For what? Because of what I believe in that I have put forward on this blog.

Eventually I had to come to understand that bullying has no age. I have heard of bullying in school yards and on-line but I was unprepared for adult cyber bullying. I now stand before you as a victim of this cyber war. The thing is that I have come so far in my life that nothing will silence my beliefs although I have to admit that I went through difficult times trying to understand why this was happening to me.

After a lot of soul searching I deducted that there is something inherently wrong with the collective consciousness of our world. How could people be so angry that I was an animal activist? a vegan? an environmentalist? How naïve was I to believe that by putting forward kindness I was sheltered. It was a rude awakening and it make me want to promote kindness even more. I will not ever give in and silence myself due to some rage and hatred that does not belong to me.

Here are the different ways you may get bullied online:

. Flaming: fighting on-line using vulgar language,

Impersonation: hacking another’s email or social media to post embarrassing comments,

Outing and Trickery: sharing another’s secrets or tricking someone into revealing embarrassing information,

. Cyber Stalking: repeated threats or online activity that makes a person afraid of his/her safety

Cyberbullies hide under their anonymity and have lots of accessibility on social media. There are many laws depending where you live that protects victims of cyberbullying. If you are being cyber bullied on a specific media site please report the activity. You can also report cyberbullying to the police. I think the best way to conquer ‘trolls’ as they are called online  is to disengage and not give the attacker more power.

Kindness is of the most importance against all types of bullying. Responding calmly and with kindness disarms most situations. There are also links where you can get help with bullying. This kind of action  should start with educating chidren at home as well as in schools. There are more and more programs that teach children to respect each other and to do random acts of kindness. These kids are our future and kindness should be taught to them and hopefully bullying will one day disappear.

Let’s keep the hope, stand strong together and keep spreading kindness!