When Lizzie Velasquez was 17 years old, she came across a video online titled "The World's Ugliest Woman"--only to discover that the 8-second viral video featured her. Born with a genetic condition that makes it impossible for her to gain weight, Lizzie had always known she was "different," but after her online bullying went public she decided to stand up on behalf of victims everywhere. She also made it her mission to help create a kinder world.
Today, her popular YouTube channel has half a million followers and her massively popular TED talk has been seen more than 10 million times. In this daring and revelatory book, she draws on her experiences overcoming bullying--from the schoolyard to the Internet--to reveal the hidden forces that give rise to cruelty, and how we can redirect them to unlock empathy and kindness. Lizzie shows how each one of us can use everyday acts of empathy to create a kinder culture and a better world. Her insights include:
- How--and why--to integrate acts of kindness into your routine
- How to truly embrace people's differences as well as your own
- How to "try on" some confidence and manage the perils of insecurity
- How to overcome challenges with the right mental attitude
Through her own story, Lizzie shows the radical ripple-effect that kindness can have on the world around us. Lizzie did not let a single harsh act define who she was - she redefined herself, and started a movement in the process. Our nation today feels absorbed, she writes, in a culture of meanness, and we must focus--both collectively and as individuals--on instilling our interactions and relationships with understanding.
Dare to Be Kind is not about where you come from or what you've been through. It's about finding the path to radical acceptance, love, and tolerance--of yourself and all of those around you--and how that path can help you lead a confident, resilient, and harmonious life, and ultimately, become a helper in forging a better future for our children and a more compassionate world for everyone.