Bullying affects everyone...

I was quite distressed this morning to read about two Minnesota girls who'd taken their lives because of bullying. Eighth graders! Such young girls to have to bear a burden so difficult.

I hate meanness. I tell my kids that all the time and I've tried, as best as any parent can, to teach my kids that nothing good can come from being mean. It only hurts people. It takes more energy and bitterness to be mean than it does to be kind. These Minnesota girls chose a very difficult and tragic way to deal with their torment and their families and friends will have to live with the pain of it for the rest of their lives.

My March book, In a Doctor's Arms, was inspired in part by another tragedy that is closer home. A Massachusetts girl chose to end her life because of constant bullying. In my book, the heroine, Teresa Morales, is a school counselor who is tormented and needs to learn to forgive herself because she failed to see bullying that ended tragically for one of her students.

Teresa Morales is a fictional character. But these families I read about online and in the newspaper are real. As I type this I simply can't stop the tears for what they must all be going through. Words hurt. When will cruelty end and we choose kindness instead? I choose kindness.

Many blessings, Lisa Mondello
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