A little love goes a long way
By the Advocate Editorial Board
March 14, 2017 at 5:57 p.m.
Updated March 14, 2017 at 11:55 p.m.
It's much easier to love than it is to hate.
And this message resonated with more than 700 people at Patti Welder Middle School late last week, just before the start of spring break.
Last week, the Love One Another Tour made a stop at the school to spread the message that a little love can go a long way, especially when bullying runs rampant both inside and outside of school.
We applaud Majic Tejano 95.5 FM for sponsoring the tour. The tour brought Ray Vargas, from The One New Man Church in Victoria, along with his band, Pure Heart, to the event for an afternoon of singing and motivational speaking.
We wish bullying did not exist, but the reality is it does. But thanks to events like this, we are able to show each other that there is a lot of love to be given and had.
The community also deserves a round of applause. About 200 community members attended the event, and we cannot stress how important that is for the youth to see.
We live in a different time. Bullying isn't just something that happens at school, it can also happen at home. Not only that, but because of smartphones and social media, students can now be subjected to relentless bullying.
But now that the concert is over, where do we go from here?
The answer is simple: We must continue delivering this message of love and acceptance on a daily basis.
We also need to be mindful of our kids' wellbeing. Talk to your kids, and be sure they feel they can go to you whenever something is on their mind.
Bullying is a tough issue to tackle, so we are not saying we have all the answers. Bullying also will never disappear completely, as unfortunate as that may be.
Thankfully, Patti Welder will not be the Love One Another Tour's only stop. The plan is to also perform at Cade Middle School and Victoria West High School.
Although the event was prompted, in part, by recent teen suicides, it is important to note that experts caution against oversimplifying what leads to people taking their own lives. Mental health issues are complicated and require expert treatment.
Getting students the help they need, though, starts with awareness. That is where events like this are helpful.
Vargas says the subject of bullying and suicide awareness hits close to home, not just for him, but for everyone, whether they know it or not.
"It's right there on our doorstep," he said.
We agree. Let's keep the lines of communication open and make sure we talk with our children about bullying and all of the other complicated issues they face in their lives today.
This opinion reflects the views of the Victoria Advocate's editorial board.