Aren’t these just about the cutest renderings of Star Wars characters you’ve ever seen? You’re forgiven if you have to take a minute to go squee. ‘Coz we be gettin’ serious here in a minute.
Back? Okay, good. I’ve posted them up there for a reason. Tomorrow (Fri, Dec 10, 2010) is Wear and Share Star Wars Day, in honour of a little girl named Katie. She was being mocked by her Grade One classmates for bringing a Star Wars water bottle to school. You can read how the story originated and the flood of supportive comments here, and read more about the event on Facebook.
I’ve been following that story for some time. Then in recent days in rapid succession, I attended my nephew’s 4th birthday party, saw this post by @LittleAnimation on Twitter, and observed some bullying behaviour first hand, which I don’t care to detail here.
When I think of the open trusting faces of my nephews and nieces and their friends, I always think of how they look up to you with the anticipation and presumption that the world will be good to them. It breaks my heart to think of that belief being shattered, or worse yet, the possibility some of them will turn out to be bullies themselves.
I think of the lasting scars that Little Animation documented, and how deeply I felt some of the things that were said about me and to me when growing up. Kids can find any reason to pick on someone else, including that person being smart, Asian, or having big boobs. I’m sure I said hateful things that wounded others just as deeply, as we struggled through finding how we fit into conformity.
What difference will it make to put on a piece of Star Wars merch for Wear and Share Day? Maybe none. Maybe it’ll make all the difference in the world to just one person feeling down and alone and misunderstood, to see ~24,000 people proudly displaying and reclaiming their geekitude.
We all need a little armour to survive in the world, but there’s nothing to say that some of the pieces of that protection can’t be freely given by other people. I’m certain some of these photos and comments will be treasured talismans to Katie and others like her for years to come.