Speak With Integrity

We are all aware of the BULLYING that is happening in our schools and on line via social media. We tell our kids to SPEAK UP about the abuse but also for others to STEP UP and defend those getting bullied.


Well, have you heard the news that 22 year old professional tennis player, Rebecca Marino has retired from her sport? She mentions part of the reason for leaving is due to challenges with depression which she’s battled for many years. She is currently on medication, working with a counselor and has the support of family and friends around her. She also mentions she is no longer as passionate about tennis and her priorities have changed.

I admire her wisdom and courage at such a young age. What I want to address is the other aspect of her decision. She received a lot of NEGATIVITY via social media. The cyber bullying, criticism, judgments and cruelty became too much.


We feel we have the right to spew our NEGATIVE JUDGMENTS onto athletes, actors, singers, and anyone in the public eye…anyone with any social media is at risk.

It’s easy to be CRUEL when you are not face to face because you don’t see the CONSEQUENCES of your words and how they IMPACT that individual.

We seem to feel JUSTIFIED because we think they have a glamorous life, lots of money and a support system to protect from the negativity.

We forget they are human.

They have feelings.

They are affected by words and their families are also affected by this negative energy.

We forget they may have ANXIETY, DEPRESSION, OVERWHELMING STRESS or PRESSURES to be perfect, without mistakes or a bad day.

We forget their life is under a microscope all because they chose a field they love: music, film, sports, politics etc.

We love to criticize, critique and berate their performances.

It is one thing to disagree with something someone has said, or dislike someone’s music or be frustrated with your hockey team; it is another to cruelly rip them to shreds with words sharper than razors.

You can disagree or have an opinion and still express your thoughts with RESPECT and INTEGRITY.

I live in Vancouver and I get so weary of the love/hate relationship with our hockey team, the Canucks.

Think about being in their situation: The world posts photos of you tagged with headlines that are derogatory…people scream angrily at you during a ‘game’…one minute you are esteemed as the best, the next everyone turns on you and you are a loser, an idiot…no good…get off the ice…such venom thrown at you, for what? For doing your best? For being human? Because one day you’re on fire and another day you may be more tired, anxious or stressed or the negativity creeps into your performance?

I know, I know, they are getting paid really well and ‘should’ be above such things.


They worked their butts off and sacrificed to become professionals. We don’t know their personal struggles and what obstacles they have overcome or deal with on a daily basis. We haven’t walked in their shoes.

Before you judge, remember we ALL have a story.

We need to be accountable for our words.

We need to be an example to our children so they understand BULLYING IS NEVER OKAY.

It always starts with one person: You

Speak with integrity or don’t speak at all.

With a smile,



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