We usually look at the big picture in this space, but with today being Pink Shirt Day, here's a personal tale about bullying.
Fresh off the plane in 1976, I must have sounded like an alien to the other kids at West Vernon Elementary School with my thick cockney accent from southeast London.
And, sure enough, there were plenty of tough guys who liked reminding this skinny English kid that he sounded funny.
So, it became a regular Friday after-school occurence that the bully of the week would pick a fight.
I've never started a fight, but I've never backed away from one, either. So I fought my way up through the ranks of Grade 5 and 6 contenders until, one day, the unofficial toughest kid in school decided I was worthy of his attention.
Not only did he challenge me to fisticuffs, he declared I was not to walk to school on his side of the street anymore.
So, of course, I dawdled at the end of his driveway, pretending to tie my shoelaces all week.
Friday came, and the two of us fought to a draw before the teachers stepped in - me with a cut lip and he with a bloody nose.
That was the day the bullying stopped.
It was a simpler time back then. Kids determined their pecking order with fists and barbed words. We didn't have the Internet or Facebook with which to mock and belittle each other. No one ever heard of tragic deaths like that of Amanda Todd.
Somehow, we got by.
Do your part to stand up to bullies today; wear pink in support of the Okanagan Boys and Girls Clubs so our kids can grow up not knowing what it's like to be bullied.
- Managing Editor