Wisdom brightens a person's face and changes its hard appearance. -Ecclesiatstes 8:1

Friday, October 8, 2010

I'll (try to) say what no one else is saying.

n. pl. bul•lies
1. A person who is habitually cruel or overbearing, especially to smaller or weaker people.
2. A hired ruffian; a thug.
v. bul•lied, bul•ly•ing, bul•lies
1. To treat in an overbearing or intimidating manner. See Synonyms at intimidate.
2. To make (one's way) aggressively.

It sucks. It is sad. Something should be done. Celebrities are speaking out against it. Everyone should be speaking out.

Kids are killing themselves because they are being bullied. (This post deals with bullying in general, not the specific type of bullying that has brought it to the forefront recently.)*

These kids apparently have no avenue to go through. They have no one to turn to. They are too scared of retaliation.

This is ridiculous.

I’m not saying the kids are ridiculous. It is the adults in their lives that are. They should be making themselves known. They should be offering themselves up for a shoulder to cry on, an ear to listen, and a mouth-piece to help them “fight” back.

I, like a lot of other people (if not, everyone), was bullied. Now, I was in no way close to being beaten up, but I was teased to the point that it hurt.

In elementary school, the boy I was in total like with teased me by saying that I got my clothes out of a Cracker Jack box. He also called me fat…a lot. And I was nowhere near fat. I never said anything to anyone about him. But I do blame him, in a way, for my self-image problems throughout the rest of my school days.

Another couple of boys tried to spread a rumor that my father sexually abused me. I did tell on them. I got them in trouble with the principal and with my parents and theirs. They didn’t just hurt my feelings, but my dad’s as well. One of them just tried to friend me on Facebook the other day. I ignored it.

See how this stuff stuck with me?

But I have a confession to make.

I think I bullied some kids too. Now, I don’t think the definition we are applying to the term “Bullying” above is what I did, but I definitely did my fair share of making fun of kids that were different. And I sometimes did it to their face. To give myself a little credit, I was always with a group of people doing the same thing; I don’t think I could have teased people on my own. As a matter of fact, I am sure this group, including me, would not have teased anyone had we not thought it made us cool in some way. Having said that, I don’t excuse myself in the least bit. I made fun of people. I teased people. I’m sure I hurt some feelings. I just hope and pray that nothing I ever said or did lasted in people’s memories into their adult life like the stuff I still remember.

I think the bullied kids today need to hear from people that were bullied and have made it past that point in their lives.

But I also think these kids need to hear from the bullies. I think the adults that used to bully people need to come forward and admit their mistakes and explain why they did what they did. I think the kids being hurt by the actions of bullies need to see what happens to those kids after they realize their wrongs. I think the kids that are bullies these days need to see that what they are doing doesn’t make life better for them, that it does affect their outcome and that if their bullying were to ever lead to someone hurting themselves, then their life is ruined as well. This is an angle that needs to be explored. Someone needs to step forward and speak out on behalf of the bullys and say “Stop what you are doing. It doesn’t make you any better. It actually makes you worse. I know because I was a bully and because of my actions this happened....”

I don’t remember ever feeling better about myself because I teased someone, though I'm sure that would be the only reason I did it. I am sure there was a time when I teased or made fun of someone to his/her face. I am sure there was a moment in time when I hurt someone’s feelings and new it. I would like a chance to apologize but I don’t deserve one. It really isn’t about me.

I hope that these people, wherever they are, have moved on and couldn’t care less about me and any apology that I owe them. I hope they are bigger and better and more successful than I am. They deserve it.

To the kids today who are being bullied…

Please tell someone. Find someone to listen. There are people out there that care. Don’t be afraid to share what is happening to you. You are the better person. You deserve to lead an awesome life and if you will just hang on…It Gets Better.

*Please take a moment to read this post aimed at Christians and their stance on the specifics of the current bullying… I couldn’t say it better. I am a Christian. I know where the writer is coming from. As a Christian, we do need to take action against bullying, but specifically, we need to take action against this type of bullying. Let’s figure out a way to make it work. For all the love we have in this world for people should and can be shared with all the people of this world.

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