The Bahá’í principles of unity made it clear to me from a young age that I did not want to be a part of bullying or gossip. Avoiding gossip and backbiting was a constant effort starting in middle school when that was what all the kids did. When friends would pick on and gossip about someone, I would have to remove myself from the conversation without making other people feel judged themselves. If they were too uncomfortable, they might stop being my friend. I would tune out or leave the discussion. As a result, people knew I wouldn’t talk about them and trusted me.
I am kind and considerate to people no matter who they are because of the example my mother and family set and as a result of growing up with the Bahá’í principles. I was voted the friendliest person in my high school, and I think that my efforts to avoid backbiting were a big factor in that.