I posted a while back about some of my experiences with bullying. And in that post I said more was to come, looking at different perspectives on bullying.
There has been a fair bit of Twitter traffic lately about bullying. One amazing 13 year old guy goes by the handle St0pBullying. He has posted a few YouTube videos expressing his feelings on the issue. As creepy as it may sound coming from a 45-year old. This is dedicated in the first instance to him.
What I have, however, is bad news. Bullying doesn’t end with high school. It doesn’t end when we grow up, and it doesn’t end until we change the very fabric of society.
Bullies exist in the workplace, in our adult lives, it exists in rest-homes and is perpetrated by the people supposed to be caring for those who are dependent on others. It happens in marriages (now here is another person everyone should follow). It even exists between countries.
But none of this is a reason to stop fighting it. One of the best things we can do, as St0pBullying does, as many others do, is to give our support to others. To let people know that, when they are being bullied, that they have someone who will support them. Someone who cares about them unconditionally. So that they know that, however bad things get, there is at least one rock they can anchor themselves to.
THEN our job is to make ourselves redundant. To encourage them to realise that the most important person in the world is them. That they are wonderful, beautiful, powerful people. And that nobody – absolutely nobody – gets to deprive them or the world of that beauty. Because this is the thing. Bullying doesn’t just hurt the one person. It hurts everyone. Even if the victim survives the bullying, and does not as so many do, take their own lives, then they are still changed. Sometimes for the better, but mostly not. Mostly permanently scarred. And bullies deprive not just the obvious victim, but their family and friends, those who have not yet been met, of something truly wonderful.
As the lovely rumpelsnorcack (another person who you really have to follow on Twitter if you aren’t already) said on my earlier post, it is almost impossible to comprehend that bullies need sympathy – at least when you are still suffering from the effects of their torture. But it is true. People are supposed to be compassionate. When they are cruel and nasty, violent and vicious, there is something wrong. Some past hurt that led them to such a state.
I have this image in my head – of someone being bullied and walking up to their aggressor and putting a hand on their shoulder and saying “Hey, it’s OK. I forgive you, and I know how much you are hurting. It’s OK – I understand”. Of course that is just a fantasy. In most cases it would lead to getting a beating. But I like the image.
I hope people can spread the word and the attitude – that bullying is never – EVER – OK. That people who are suffering need help and support. They need to know they are loved. And they need to know there is a way out, and a way through. If Twitter has been around when I was 13, and I had found someone like St0pBullying, life perhaps wouldn’t have been quite so hard.
If we all do it, who knows, maybe we can change the world.
Addendum: I have said many times, our smallest action can lead to huge consequences. A smile, a kind word can save a life. And that life can save others. A harsh word might just be the last thing that leads to a loss of life. It sounds as though we need to be paraniod, but we don’t. It is really easy. We just need to think that every action we take could be the one we are forever known by. So make it a good one.
Much love to all.