Every once in a while, I’ll get the opportunity to meet people who are changing the world around them through creative means. Some folks I meet are amazing painters, others are superior code writers who’s functions could easily be compared to Shakespearean Sonnets. However, for Australian 18 year old Cassidy-Rae Wilson, her creativity that she is giving to the world comes from her voice. Who would have known that her voice and determination would help to begin changing laws for the land down under.
I had the opportunity to twitter chat with Cassidy-Rae for a bit and like most blooming young singers today, she has a YouTube channel where she does superb covers of other artist’s works just to showcase her amazing talents. (To quote Fix.fm DJ Carolopolis, “she really has a set of pipes on her.” If you get the opportunity you really should check her work out.) She told me how she was able to sing for so many different people and events in Australia. She even had the opportunity to sing for Ellen DeGeneres. You could say that Cassidy-Rae really has her act together and is moving up in the music scene.
However, I ran across a single on her YouTube page that she is just about to release. The song is called “Be Strong.” I wanted to know what the story was behind this and she enlightened me on the story she wanted to share with the rest of the world. “Be Strong” is an encouraging song that was written for a very close friend of Wilson’s, Chloe Elizabeth Fergusson. Chloe is described as being a vibrant, full of life, and was wise beyond her years. However, she was dealt a pretty rough hand. Chloe’s mother was diagnosed with terminal cancer in 2003 and passed away in 2006. Chloe was only 8 at the time. I can’t imagine what it would be like to lose a mother that early in life. (I was pretty dependent on my mother when I was 8.) Luckily, a family took her in, cared for her and everything started looking up for young Chloe. That is, until high school started.
I believe high school is a rough time for everyone. I can easily remember how important it was to figure out and play some sort of social role while trying to work to impress the world around me with my new forming talents or academic grades. I remember the awkwardness of socializing with members of the opposite sex, and just dating in general. One thing I will always remember is being picked on, and doing my fair share of picking on others.
Being picked on and bullied sucks. I don’t need to go into full detail as to why because I don’t want to bring up repressed feelings that you worked hard to bury over the years as you moved into adulthood. So before I start off on a tangent about bullying, let’s get to the subject at hand.
Chloe started getting picked on and bullied in high school. However, it went well beyond the bullying that I remembered as a child. She was called ugly, she was teased for not having a mother, (as if losing your mother at an early age wasn’t already extremely difficult.) she was pushed and shoved up against lockers and when she would get home, the torment would continue on social media outlets. There was no escaping the hell she was living day to day. Her family talked with school officials and even went as far as moving her to another school where nobody knew her. In this day of social media, it didn’t take very long for the new school she was attending to become another layer of hell for Chloe to endure. Last year, on September 10th, Chloe was leaving for home after another day of school, enduring God only knows what. She was getting off the bus when a group of girls decided that hateful words, rumors and defimation of character were not enough for someone like Chloe. They beat the hell out of her. If that wasn’t humiliating or hurtful enough, the group decided to record the attack in order to gloat about it later. However, in this day of social media, it only took till that evening for the rest of the school to see how Chloe was taken care of. Chloe was humiliated. On September 12th, two days after the attack, Chloe finally figured out a way to stop the bullying and the torment that has been plaguing her day in and day out for a while now. Chloe took her own life; Ending her existence, ended her torment and suffering.
Let that sink in for a bit…
I don’t know what Chloe was thinking or feeling for the last two days of her life. However, if somebody knew, or we all knew, maybe this young girl would still be alive today. Maybe if we all knew what goes through a child’s mind before suicide, maybe we could do a better job preventing it. There’s a lot of maybes here. However, I’m no expert on these matters nor do I have an answer on the best way to prevent bullying. I’m a simple club and radio DJ. But I do have a way to give people an opportunity to reach other people that they may have never reached before.
This is where everything ties together.
Cassidy-Rae Wilson not only created a beautiful song to help remind any one suffering from depression, bullying, suicidal tendencies or what have you, that there is always someone there that can help, but she is also the Young Ambassador for “Chloe’s Law.” Chloe’s Law is an organization that is trying to create a kinder community that is free from bullying. Simple as that. The group has gone on to help jump start change to the bullying laws of Australia. The Australian Parliament is literally discussing ways to combat this problem as you are reading this. This movement has gathered so much steam in Australia that there were 49,000+ names on a petition for the Parliament and the group alone has nearly 290,000 members on their Facebook page to help out in a moments notice. All because of a few motivated people, including Cassidy-Rae and Cassidy-Rae’s song used as a beacon of hope for others.
Music is that powerful.
However, music is not powerful enough to bring Chloe back to this world. But it is powerful enough to make sure that her memory and others that share Chloe’s circumstances are united into feeling that they are not alone. You maybe saying to yourself, “Cool Hand J aren’t you a funk, soul, disco, and rap DJ?” Well, here’s where I fit in. You’re right I am just a DJ. But I can do a few things to let the folks with Chloe’s Law and people who are bullied and tormented that we too in Charleston support causes like this and would like bullying to stop as much as they do. I spoke with the station programmer at theFix.fm and we will run Cassidy-Rae’s song “Be Strong” in full rotation. It’s not “Charleston” music, but the message of the song needs to be heard and shared. I will link Chloe’s Law site to mine and theFix.fm will do the same. That’s the very least we can do to show our support for a cause we believe in.
Please take the time to visit the Chloe’s Law site and Cassidy-Rae Wilson’s site for more information.