Be the Bridge, Not the Troll

June 27, 2016 Entrebel Wisconsin

What started out as an anti-bullying conversation with my husband became an idea for a new t-shirt.

Raising kids should be thought of as training up & coming adults.  I made these people, and now I’m responsible for sending them into the world and cultivating an understanding about how to treat others.  Don’t take crap from people.  Also, don’t give people crap.  Be nice.  Help out.  Always do the right thing.  Compassion, education, & contemplation.  In that order.  These things will take you far.  If you have something that someone could benefit from, share it.  If you see cruelty in the world, stop it.  If you can improve upon something that is broken, fix it.  Sounds simple, but this is tough stuff for kids to fully comprehend. 

I’ve seen my son get picked on once. 

One time – and that was it.  A feeling of rage came over me that I couldn’t even recognize.  One kid started picking on him.  Then another kid made the decision to join in instead of putting an end to it.  What made me mad was not the fact that it happened (let’s face it, kids can be mean and we've all been picked on).  What I was really upset about was the fact that I witnessed this infectious and unnecessary meanness take place, and I became this crazed, overprotective mother.  I was telling my husband about what had happened that day, worrying about the times I wouldn’t be there to intervene, and I just blurted out, “Be the bridge, not the troll!”  It stuck.  On a recent trip to Milwaukee, I passed the Hoan Bridge and this shirt was born. 

Milwaukee is known for its people. 

When I’m traveling and someone asks me where I’m from, I’m always proud to say Milwaukee, because I almost always get a response along the lines of, “some of the nicest people I’ve met are from there.”  It’s true.   Great city. Cool bridge.  Zero trolls.

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