Bullying is the most common form of violence in society today, with more than 3.2 million students bullied each year.
Known for her motivational speaking talks that help students see the uniqueness they are each blessed with, Gabriella van Rij wrote I Can Find Might not only for the student who is feeling hopeless or helpless due to bullying at school, but also for those children who have bullying tendencies. In this part memoir and part self-help book, she explains how both bullies and those being bullied are mirror images of each other and what children should do with this knowledge.
I Can Find My Might is receiving acclaim from teachers, school faculty, and parents. “Gabriella gets to the heart of how a child really feels when they are bullied and made to think they don’t fit in anywhere,” says Elizabeth Seng, teacher at Our Lady Of Grace Catholic Academy in Illinois. “It then goes a step further to show us how bullies tend to get caught up in circumstances beyond their control. … This book needs to be placed in school libraries around the world.”
Does it ever go away? No, it doesn’t… I’ll never get used to the bad words. I’ll never get used to the extreme meanness. What are they whispering? I’ll continue to pretend not to care. But, boy, do I care…
Meet three-year-old Gabriella, adopted from Pakistan into a Dutch family when cross-cultural adoptions were unheard of. Short, brown-skinned, and with a lazy eye problem, Gabriella must learn how to survive in a strange new world where she is picked on for being different from her family and her school peers.
In this gripping part memoir and part self-help book for students, readers are invited to closely experience Gabriella’s stormy childhood, which will encourage empathy while also helping students see the uniqueness they are each blessed with.
A perfect book—not only for the student who is feeling hopeless or helpless due to bullying at school, but also for those children who have bullying tendencies. In a revelatory way, author and kindness activist Gabriella explains how both bullies and those being bullied are mirror images of each other and what children should do with this knowledge.
“I just finished reading Gabriella’s book, I Can Find My Might. It is a must read for anyone who works with children. Gabriella gets to the heart of how a child really feels when they are bullied and made to think they don’t fit in anywhere. It then goes a step further to show us how bullies tend to get caught up in circumstances beyond their control. As an educator for thirty-eight years it has helped me to know that I need to help each child find their Might. This book needs to be placed in school libraries around the world.”
“Be prepared for an emotional first-person journey, a fascinating read with an endearing experience shared what no parent wants to imagine could ever happen to their child. I Can Find My Might is influential in increasing awareness in students and also to the teachers and staff all over the world about all forms of bullying. This will help reduce and prevent emotional pain through understanding the challenges of a child and help us understand that people are more alike than they are different. A very powerful and emotional message, which will make a definite impact. To Gabriella I firmly believe that what you are doing is making a difference and you are saving lives.”
“As a high school teacher, after reading I Can Find My Might, I realize that the students I encounter daily suffer a similar plight as the children in the book. Gabriella is able to connect a very sensitive and controversial issue (bullying) to students of all ages. Expressing not only those situations of the individuals who have touched her life, but her own experiences, including the most tragic step of all. She has the knowledge and, unfortunately, the experience that allows her to speak to all children, as well as adults who still have issues due to childhood bullying. As you read her words or have the pleasure to hear her speak, you get the feeling that this is not a job but a lifetime passion for her. As a teacher, I need to pick up the ball of Human Kindness and be there for the students on my campus. This book should be a mandatory read for all children and educators in school.”
“WOW! Loved it! Read it all on my cell phone. I can tell you how much I hate that. I like to turn pages, but I couldn’t stop reading it…”
I Can Find My Might is an unbelievably inspiring read. As one of the first cross-cultural adoptions in history, Gabriella van Rij continues to be a trailblazer for every adopted child who has dealt with issues of belonging, identity, and inclusion.
Forced to make new friends as she attends numerous schools while living in several countries, Gabriella’s life at school and at home was anything but a fairytale. Just reading about her trials and tribulations during these times can be an emotional task. Almost everybody who has been a victim of bullying or discrimination can find themselves empathizing with the heartbreaking stories she bravely shares. As the scene shifts from her personal obstacles to her humanitarian work, I found myself relating to the children and young adults Gabriella has tried to comfort, as well as those who have sought her guidance.
It takes a special person like Gabriella to rise above those circumstances and channel that inner grief to make an overwhelmingly positive difference in the lives of others. It's hard to fathom that the hatred, ignorance, and sadness Gabriella encountered actually exists. After watching her pass her Kindness ball to others, however, you’ll be inspired to follow her example and spread kindness as well. In the process, we, too, will find our might.