22 February 2018

"Trash Girl" owns the insult applied to her by haters

The term "owning" something is a common modern catchword.  Everyone is urged to "take ownership" of their lives, employees are urged to "take ownership" of their work, persons with illnesses are advised to "own" the symptoms.  What's often not clear is what that means, or how one achieves the desired result.

Here's a good example of taking ownership:
... 12-year-old Nadia Sparkes decided to take matters into her own hands. The high schooler has been picking up trash along the two-mile route from her school to her home for months now, using the basket of her bike to bring the trash home. In just the short amount of time that she has been picking up trash, Nadia has already accumulated more than two recycling bins worth of plastic.

Despite her green intentions, some of the kids at Nadia’s school have dubbed her “Trash Girl” and have bullied her for her noble efforts to help the planet. It would be easy to succumb to mean comments and stop picking up trash, but on the contrary, Nadia is more determined than ever to clean up her community...

“I told her she had two choices, she could either stop collecting rubbish, stop drawing their attention and hopefully they would leave her alone. Or she could own “trash girl,” Paula Sparkes, Nadia’s mom, said about the bullies.

As a result of the media attention Nadia has received, she now has created a Facebook group aptly named “Team Trash Girl” where she shares updates on her efforts. Positive comments have poured in, all in support of Nadia, advocating for her to ignore the negative.
It was reading that story yesterday that prompted me to respond as I did to the egregiously vituperative comment posted on TYWKIWDBI.  Disagreement and a variety of opinions are unavoidable and perhaps essential, but hatred and bullying have no place in civil society.  One way to cope with those tactics is to own the insult.


  1. She was bullied and mocked for doing something positive with her time? I don't want to be on this planet anymore. :(


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