What Each of Us CAN do about Bullying
The word “Bullying” is flying at us so often these days, it is almost as if it has a PR team behind it. Move out of the way Starbucks, MacDonalds and Walmart – Bullying is the new “place to be”.
There is a good chance that its prevalence will have a mind-numbing effect: Oh, everyone was bullied, it’s no big deal.
Whether everyone is or was bullied; whether you were or you weren’t; whether your kids will be or won’t be; that is really not the issue. Perhaps you were the bully or the mean kid or the victim or the person who just got in the way one time.
The real issue is something that we all have in common – we have all been the bystander at some point in our lives. Our kids will be too. If you have watched Amanda Todd’s video, you know that, according to her truth, there were no friends for her in her schools. According to her story, no one cared enough to step out of the “mass” to tell her that she would be ok. Not one person.
That is one place where every one of us has the potential to be the change.
Being a teen is a tough job. We’ve all done it. It has awesome times and not-so-awesome times. Sometimes, being an adult feels that way too. It can feel like no one is on your side – not one person. In either case, if one person would smile at you or notice you or look in your eyes and see the real you, it might make all the difference for today. It might give you hope that someone was on your side.
Every one of us has the opportunity to be that person. When we take the time to see people – really SEE them as loving, living people; not as some disheveled person or some trashy kid, we might be the person who changes their life that day.
We also have the opportunity to teach our kids to step up and be the person who pats a fellow kid on the back or invites them to sit at a lunch table. Who offers to help with math or picks up books that fall out of a back pack. We have the opportunity to see people as people – unique people who are connected to us on this planet. That is where charity and compassion begins – treating people like people.
We recently heard from a mom who received this note about her child’s behaviour:
As Tommy [your son] may have mentioned to you (or not) , another teammate has said some inappropriate and hurtful comments to Jeff [my child] in hockey these past few practices. What has made the difference for Jeff has been Tommy. Twice now, Tommy has ‘stood up” and said “hey, you don’t treat a teammate like that”. I wanted you and Tommy to know how much those comments meant to Jeff. It gave him the strength he needed during those vulnerable times.
You have clearly fostered a child with strength, confidence and both moral and civic character. Kids like Tommy make a difference.
Thanks for your support, Tommy!
This only goes to show; when we take that step, we are working to make a difference in the lives of the bullied AND the bullies.
We can be the change. We have to be the change. If we aren’t, no one is.