The anti-bullying day

Almost exactly 13 years ago today was my day. A few months earlier, as a 10-year-old, I had started an anti-bullying club. Not because I was bullied that much; that lasted only about a day or two, after which I started responding in such a way that the bullies got bored with me. No, I started that club because I wanted to start something. I didn’t know that starting a business was something people could actually do back then, but looking back it was the first entrepreneurial thing I ever did.

I had been preparing for that day for weeks. Together with the headmaster of my little village primary school, I had been organising a ‘Anti-Bullying Day’ – complete with games, videos that were being played in class rooms to create awareness, and the handing out of backpacks with a smiling ladybird printed on them, sponsored by the national anti-bulling foundation.

Earlier that summer my dad had helped me write an anti-bullying song, and one afternoon my entire class had come to his garage-turned-makeshift-music-studio to record it together. A ‘We Are The World’ without a budget or superstars singing along, just a kid and his keyboard, a drum sample and 20 reluctantly singing 10-year-olds. We even designed album art for the CD jewel case.

At the end of the big anti-bullying day, the headmaster gave a speech in front of the big tree on the playground, with all the children, teachers and some parents standing around in a half-circle. Then she asked me to come up front and say something. I had never been more proud and equally nervous in my short decade on this earth.