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tiktok, elyse myers

TikTok user Elyse Myers drives home why we need to be careful with our words.

As adults, sometimes we forget how much impact our words can have on the children in our lives. But most of us can recall things that were said to us as kids, positive or negative, that stuck with us. Some of those words may have influenced how we see ourselves our whole lives, for better or for worse.

Elyse Myers is a popular TikTok user who has a knack for storytelling. Most of her videos are funny, but one of her most recent ones has a serious—and seriously important—message for us all.

"It is no secret that as a child, and specifically as a middle schooler, I was a little bit…round," she said. "That would have been one way to describe me. Other ways that would have been more appropriate? Funny, cute, has curly hair, determined, sarcastic, witty, smart, talented, musical—so many ways to describe me, but the one thing that people loved to latch onto was the size of my body."


"Was I ashamed of that?" she asked. "No. Other people seemed to be. You would be shocked at how determined other kids and adults were at making sure that I knew that they knew that I was larger than other kids my age."

Myers then made a statement that millions of people, especially women, can identify with:

"I was made aware of the size of my body long before I was ever taught how to love it.”

Watch:

@elysemyers

Your words are powerful. #coffeetalk #theadhdway #words

Myers is dead on. Her story about a male substitute teacher going out of his way to "save her from herself" by telling her in so many words that she should give up the idea of being a cheerleader because of her size is appalling, but unfortunately not uncommon.

"The audacity of a man to walk up to a 7th-grade girl, in front of her friends, and comment on her appearance in any way is disgusting," she said. "I met that man for one hour when I was like 11, and I am 28 and still undoing the damage that that one sentence had on my life. So if you are an adult, if you are around children—if you are around humans in any way—I want you to understand how powerful your words are. As easily as they can tear someone down, they can build someone right back up, but it's going to take a hell of a lot more work to build them up after you've torn them down."

In reality, it's always far easier and faster to break something than to build it. In fact, research from The Gottman Institute found that in a happy, stable relationship, couples had an average of five positive interactions for every one negative one. Couples who had a smaller ratio than that were less happy, and a 1:1 ratio, meaning evenly balanced between positive and negative interactions, equaled an unhealthy relationship "teetering on the edge of divorce."

It takes far more positive words to create a positive experience than it does negative ones to create a negative experience, which is why it's so important for us to choose our words carefully. And because children are so impressionable, what we say to them sticks.

“I was taught how to perceive my body through the eyes of other people that didn’t love me, that didn’t care about me, that thought they could just make a passing comment and move on with their life, and I carried that forever," said Myers.

"We have to teach people how to speak kindly about themselves, how to love themselves, how to see them as beautiful and worthy and more than just what they look like. If I had as much attention poured into the things that I was good at, and I cared about, and I loved, I would have been a completely different kid."

Right on, Ms. Myers. Thanks for the reminder that what we say matters more than we might think.

All images provided by Bombas

We can all be part of the giving movement

True

We all know that small acts of kindness can turn into something big, but does that apply to something as small as a pair of socks?

Yes, it turns out. More than you might think.

A fresh pair of socks is a simple comfort easily taken for granted for most, but for individuals experiencing homelessness—they are a rare commodity. Currently, more than 500,000 people in the U.S. are experiencing homelessness on any given night. Being unstably housed—whether that’s couch surfing, living on the streets, or somewhere in between—often means rarely taking your shoes off, walking for most if not all of the day, and having little access to laundry facilities. And since shelters are not able to provide pre-worn socks due to hygienic reasons, that very basic need is still not met, even if some help is provided. That’s why socks are the #1 most requested clothing item in shelters.

homelessness, bombasSocks are a simple comfort not everyone has access to

When the founders of Bombas, Dave Heath and Randy Goldberg, discovered this problem, they decided to be part of the solution. Using a One Purchased = One Donated business model, Bombas helps provide not only durable, high-quality socks, but also t-shirts and underwear (the top three most requested clothing items in shelters) to those in need nationwide. These meticulously designed donation products include added features intended to offer comfort, quality, and dignity to those experiencing homelessness.

Over the years, Bombas' mission has grown into an enormous movement, with more than 75 million items donated to date and a focus on providing support and visibility to the organizations and people that empower these donations. These are the incredible individuals who are doing the hard work to support those experiencing —or at risk of—homelessness in their communities every day.

Folks like Shirley Raines, creator of Beauty 2 The Streetz. Every Saturday, Raines and her team help those experiencing homelessness on Skid Row in Los Angeles “feel human” with free makeovers, haircuts, food, gift bags and (thanks to Bombas) fresh socks. 500 pairs, every week.

beauty 2 the streetz, skid row laRaines is out there helping people feel their beautiful best

Or Director of Step Forward David Pinson in Cincinnati, Ohio, who offers Bombas donations to those trying to recover from addiction. Launched in 2009, the Step Forward program encourages participation in community walking/running events in order to build confidence and discipline—two major keys to successful rehabilitation. For each marathon, runners are outfitted with special shirts, shoes—and yes, socks—to help make their goals more achievable.

step forward, helping homelessness, homeless non profitsRunning helps instill a sense of confidence and discipline—two key components of successful recovery

Help even reaches the Front Street Clinic of Juneau, Alaska, where Casey Ploof, APRN, and David Norris, RN give out free healthcare to those experiencing homelessness. Because it rains nearly 200 days a year there, it can be very common for people to get trench foot—a very serious condition that, when left untreated, can require amputation. Casey and Dave can help treat trench foot, but without fresh, clean socks, the condition returns. Luckily, their supply is abundant thanks to Bombas. As Casey shared, “people will walk across town and then walk from the valley just to come here to get more socks.”

step forward clinic, step forward alaska, homelessness alaskaWelcome to wild, beautiful and wet Alaska!

The Bombas Impact Report provides details on Bombas’s mission and is full of similar inspiring stories that show how the biggest acts of kindness can come from even the smallest packages. Since its inception in 2013, the company has built a network of over 3,500 Giving Partners in all 50 states, including shelters, nonprofits and community organizations dedicated to supporting our neighbors who are experiencing- or at risk- of homelessness.

Their success has proven that, yes, a simple pair of socks can be a helping hand, an important conversation starter and a link to humanity.

You can also be a part of the solution. Learn more and find the complete Bombas Impact Report by clicking here.

via LinkedIn

This article originally appeared on 07.10.21


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