I had some of the best snorkeling of my life over spring break. In Roatan, Honduras I spent time swimming along the shelf of the second largest barrier reef in the world. It was incredible. I was swimming with a thousand Nemos and Dorys, and gliding above the most amazing display of corals I’ve ever seen.

Corals are alive. They are not plants or rocks or inanimate objects. They are made up of thousands of tiny animals, and those animals are fragile.

They appear tough and strong and beautiful, but one touch can kill an entire colony. Oils from our skin can destroy the unseen layer of protection that keeps them alive without a single visible piece of evidence.

People are a little (or a lot) like that as well.

We appear tough and strong and beautiful, and we are. But one comment, one social media post, one moment of disrespect from someone we trust can damage our protective layer.  Without meaning to, without even knowing we have done it in some cases, we can damage what keeps someone feeling emotionally safe.

People, and corals, are not as strong as they appear. It is why our community has spent time this year focused on the #BeKind initiative.

I guess I was just reminded that we are all a little (or a lot) like coral. Handle with care!

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