Be an Upstander This Holiday Season!

In the spirit of celebrating the holiday season, No Bully would like to present a series of holiday heroes that have fought bullying in some form or another. We begin this series by wishing everyone a Happy Hanukkah and introducing the timeless character, Hershel of Ostropol, who fought the Hanukkah goblins and saved the day! We showcase his courage and give best tips on how to be an upstander this holiday season.

On the first night of Hanukkah, Hershel eagerly approaches a village, where plenty of latkes and merriment should warm him. But when he arrives not a single candle is lit. A band of frightful goblins have taken over the synagogue, and the villagers are unable to celebrate. Hershel vows to help them, even though the goblins bully him and try to keep him from lighting the menorah. He waits each night in the synagogue for a different goblin to appear, cleverly out-maneuvering each before finally being confronted by the goblin leader. In the end, Hershel saves the day and restores Hanukkah to the townspeople!

Hershel could have decided to go to another town and deny that the goblins were ever bullying the people in the first place. Instead, he chose to do the right thing and stand up for his community. Because of his courage everyone was able to celebrate Hanukkah! The story of Hershel is a perfect example of how to stand up and help others that are being bullied. Follow Hershel’s example and if you see someone that is in distress, whether a stranger or a friend, go over to them and see if they need help. You can help diffuse the situation by standing in, changing the topic, or walking away with the victim. If you choose to just stand idle and continue to watch the bullying persist then you become part of the problem.

Another way to be an upstander is to always make people feel included. This is always true, but can be especially important over the holidays when someone may need extra support. Reach out to people who may feel isolated and extend a helping hand their way. Reaching out to people who are not part of your typical social circle can really make a difference and you may even gain a new friend! Respecting people’s differences and sticking up for them is paramount. Being an upstander means that you make room for others to be themselves. Whether someone celebrates Hanukkah, Christmas, Kwanzaa, or any other holiday, upstanders respect other people’s beliefs and traditions. We need more upstanders like Hershel in the world!

How will you exemplify his courage this holiday season and beyond? The first thing you can do is sign the Be Fearless Be Kind Pledge sponsored by our partners at Hasbro and powered by Youth Service America. For everyone who takes the pledge through December 20th, Hasbro will donate a toy or game to Toys for Tots for up to 50,000 children in need this holiday season who have been impacted by disasters such as Hurricane Florence.

We’d like to leave you with an eye-opening campaign from a collaboration with our partner, Burger King, from last year. To help spread awareness, we created an advertisement, called “Bullying Junior” that brought this issue even closer to home with an experiment that took place in a BURGER KING® restaurant. We hope you watch this video and share this message, encouraging your fellow friends and family members to stand up for what is right this holiday season. If you would like to continue reading articles from No Bully and be kept up to date on our impact, please subscribe to our email list or make a donation to help our cause. No Bully is leading the charge in improving childhood. Our approach improves climates in schools and is a human centered way of teaching empathy and compassion.