Being Bullied

We are living in dangerous times.  Violence is prevalent and it does not discriminate as to who it takes down.  Unfortunately one huge threat growing daily is being bullied.  It is reported on television, read about in the newspapers, posted on the internet and it happens in our own backyard.  This issue is getting worse and harder to diffuse.  It is spreading like a wildfire and it uses whatever means necessary and becomes a weapon to wield this evil.  A good example of this is the use of social media to further humiliate or shame a victim just because they are different.  There is nothing wrong with being different.  It is that trait that should bring people together.  It should not be the basis for tearing them apart.


I look back to my childhood and recognize that there has been a shift in the school hierarchy from when I had went to school.  Yes, when I was a kid I was teased, mocked, and embarrassed multiple times.  I was very gullible at that time in my life and there was a group of female classmates that chose me to be the kid to pick on.  They never threatened me, but they sure made fun of me and constantly let me know I did not measure up to their standards.  I managed to get through it, but clearly not all do.  Bullying has not only escalated, but it actually seems to be quite popular and has many followers down this path.


People why do we do this?  Are we that power hungry or insecure ourselves that we need to bring someone down in order to prop ourselves up?  Can’t we see the pain that we are inflicting on one another?  Or is that an added benefit for the bully to see that person breakdown and fall apart?


People have been taunted, harassed, beat up and have taken their own life because of this.  In a few cases a parent even participated in the bullying of the victim.  We are too proud of a society.  We measure one another to some made up ideal and if that person falls short of that ideal, we decide to punish them for it.  We determine their worth.


I am sorry but society is selling us a load of crap and any intelligent person can spot this.   We are letting society dictate to us what is acceptable and what falls short.  The individual has the right as to how they look, how they feel and how they perceive themselves, not society.  People do stand out for being striking, but they also stand out for demonstrating great character as well.  Who gave society the right to determine who we are or what we are not?  We need to set these goals for ourselves and not give society or someone else the control to do so on our behalf.  When we fail to do this, our children pick up on this and use this information against unsuspecting classmates.  A child now has to add more stress to their time spent acquiring an education.  It is already a struggle to meet the class needs, a social life outside of school, and keep everything under control on a set schedule.  Now on top of it, we demand that people act and look a certain way, and be in a certain social class.  Kids nowadays do not allow room for students to fit in.  They have set rules when they determine who is popular or not.  Basically if your child does not meet the requirements through no fault of their own, they are punished for being different.


And what about those who doing the bullying?  Are they just unhappy or power hungry?  Have they, themselves, been subjected to bullying in their past?  Are other students giving in to peer pressure to just go along and join the bullying?  A lot of this has to be investigated before we can determine a plan of action.


We have established that there is a problem.  Next, we need to identify the person or groups involved.  Of course, that would be the victim and those who choose to victimize others; such as fellow classmates.  Once identified, we need to find the purpose for these unacceptable actions.  Only then can we reach the next step which is to form a plan of action as how to deal with this growing issue.  Finally, we need to act on that plan to seek resolution.


We need to be reaching out to our children, to our schools, and to our neighborhoods in general.  The more we can provide information and the more we can get people to participate, then we have a fighting chance to combat this issue.


It is the responsibility of everyone in our community to resolve this issue.  Starting with the parents talking with their children and letting them know they are okay being who they are.  When we stress in the family unit acceptance and keep the lines of communication open, this builds strength and a child’s self-esteem.  Next, the school needs to honor a no tolerance for bullying policy, but they should not stop there.  They need to educate the children on what bullying is and what is not acceptable.  Information and knowledge are strong tools that we can use to win this battle.  The community should stand behind our children as well.  We need to build one another up and we need to keep in mind that these young kids are going to be running this world one day.  Do we want a nation that utilizes bullying to get its way or do we want to raise people to look out for one another and to protect those who cannot protect themselves?  The more we educate our kids, show them how to get along with one another and accept one another, embrace them and support them, only then can we start to eradicate this problem.  Mind you it may never be fully resolved, but that should not stop us from taking a stand and doing whatever we can to put an end to this.  United we stand people, not united we ignore, walk away or fall.


This is not about putting the blame on one specific factor and making it our target (such as the internet for example), but rather focusing on all of the contributing factors that are relied on to get this vengeful point out there.  Evil festers and grows and many casualties result.  It is a poison that the culprit uses to accomplish his or her goal.  All factors have to be addressed in order to resolve this issue.


One child feeling all alone, feeling that they do not matter, or feeling that they have no one to turn to is too high a price to pay.  No one should be made to feel that suicide is the only answer to ending this torment.


I want to go one step further with this.  I think we need to reach out to the bullies to find out why they are doing this.  We need to resolve their issues with this as well.  It takes a lot of determination, and dedication to a cause, but I believe we can save the bully from future actions if we take the chance and offer help to them.


I know the victim must have been in pain, I know once the family finds out about this that they are conflicted and in pain as well.  I have to believe that on some level the bully feels the repercussions from this also.  To know your actions caused someone to take his or her life has to affect you one way or another.  That bully will need someone willing to guide him or her and hopefully put them back on the right path.  I know society wants people to be punished for their actions and in some instances that would mean going to jail.  I want to try to get to them before it reaches that point.  Jail is not necessarily the only viable alternative.  It can become more of a band aid and not the proper way to heal a wound.  I am not claiming to have all of the answers, for that would be impossible.  However, we need to find answers that treat the whole problem and not shove part of the problem under a rug never to be addressed.


This is why I have to believe that there is a silver lining in all of this.  We need to find one in order to be successful.  Maybe all of us getting together for the right cause can produce a harvest of good results.  To me it is worth it even if only one life is saved.


Society has played too heavy a hand in this for too long.  It is time for us to decide individually how we can help resolve this problem for the sake of the children involved.  After all just as the song Greatest Love of All states, “I believe the children are our future, teach them well and let them lead the way, show them all the beauty they possess inside, give them a sense of pride to make it easier…” is the path we need to guide them towards, not steer them away from.

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