Jun 12, 2020 / by Alisa Hafen / No Comments

It has taken a little bit of courage for me to write this article for WSJ. I was asked to write an Op-Ed based on a situation that made me feel victimized this past week, as well as do a television interview that will help bring awareness for others that might be going through similar feelings of injustice, targeting or being mistreated in any form.

Additionally I was asked to make my experience relative to the world as we know it today, recognizing that individual circumstances will almost definitely differ with each reader.

The idea: I’m hoping that all of this might help many [rise up] to the challenges we face as a human family living with diverse beliefs, ethnicities and set of challenges. The objective: To not make ourselves a victim of circumstance, but rather challenge old processes. Confront the unjust. Call out entitlement. Be willing to listen, while simultaneously being bold for what you believe to be right and speaking your truth—peacefully and with grace!

I have discovered bullies come in many forms.  I believe that many of you have experienced the same anger and natural feelings that come with unfairness, inequality, entitlement or hopelessness. We are surrounded by a world full of confusion and uncertainty. Some of the most common feelings we go through when feeling “less than” are that of anger, fear, doubt and lack of self worth. This is a form of control and a bully in and of itself. Bullies are NOT always people. But perhaps also policy, principal, behavior and beliefs systems can be just as much of a bully as a racist slur or an individual consumed by control and power!  The feelings we experience, whether caused by a person, policy or individual beliefs, are precisely the same!

While going through the countless emotions in putting this together, I have come to recognize and think about true principles that I believe will help each of us overcome many of the “bullies“ that we face in today’s world!

This past Monday my wife and I fell victim to a scam. I’ll spare you the details as they are of little consequence to the overall picture. Let’s just suffice it to say that I felt betrayed, lead on, abused, completely targeted, and less of a human. Have you ever felt like that?

Have you ever:

-Felt cheated?

-Had somebody talk behind your back?

-Been judged by your skin color or beliefs?

-Had someone make false accusations against you?

-Been Judged on your past mistakes?

-Been part of a family that feels entitled?

-Had an individual tell you what you want to hear to your face, and turn around and stab your back the next minute?

-Are you part of the family that is torn apart because everybody feels like their way is the right way, no one is going to change for anybody, and hard heads and prideful hearts are “the way it is?”

-Known people that thrive on power? Oh, they like rules as long as they don’t have to abide by them and they are in control.

-Felt belittled so others can build up their own self-esteem at your expense?

-Lost Hope?

Sure you have. I’m sure that you fit into at least one of these categories, if not many!

I must admit, I am guilty of concluding I am being victimized and mistreated on many occasions, blaming others and not surrendering to being part of a better change and solution!  I am guilty of not standing up for what I believe is right. Waiting for something to happen. Being silent. And letting the anger build up! Can I just say, I’m tired of these feelings and the results that accompany them!  I’m tired of the anger. And I want you to know that I have never been successful at playing the “victim.”

So, if I may, let me share with you five things that have helped me to make a difference for good. Be better at being a positive change agent. And ultimately a better person, I think.

(Note: I have not mastered these. But I do know they are true principles that will help you to make a difference in today’s world and be an influence for good!)

  1.  Own everything that’s happening around you…Even if it’s not your fault. Only when we take ownership for our entire lives and circumstances we currently are in do we begin to realize our potential in being a change for the better.
  1.  Remember to hold your ground. Stay firm in your beliefs and share your truth without letting your emotions get involved! (This is the toughest one for me!) There is a difference in expressing with passion versus sharing with emotion!
  1.  Remember that there is no such thing as false hope, only false hopelessness. For everything that we do know, there is so much more that we don’t, and tomorrow will be a better day!
  1. Believe in yourself! Be the best version of you! Others may discredit you, but what you believe about yourself will ultimately become your actions, and your actions will drive the results you get!… Positive or negative!
  1. Let it go! (This is the second hardest one for me!) Just because you’ve always thought a certain way, or done things a certain way, doesn’t mean it’s the only way or the right way! Be willing to let go. Forgive. And move forward recognizing there are several right ways to solve a single problem!


***You can’t beat hate with hate! You can only beat hate with love. But that doesn’t mean you will win your case or cause! It does mean, however, you will be viewed as the mature, thought provoking leader that makes us sit back and say, “I wonder if it’s not time for a change!“***

Chad Hymas


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