With a ten year school reunion coming up I’ve started to reflect a bit more about my time in school. From age 12 till about 15 I was bullied quite a lot in school. It was mostly the girls, and that’s how it usually is isn’t it? Girls can be so cruel and especially at that age.
The truth is that if you really think about it you have probably made fun of someone a few times in your life but maybe not to their face.
But before people really do bully there’s a few things they should think about.
Why would you pick on them?
For some odd reason what is different scares the living crap out of some of us. So do you bully because you don’t understand? Or do you bully because no one really understands you?
When you point your finger at someone there are three fingers pointing back at you. Bullying often comes from bad self esteem. They can seem like the most confident people in the world but if they were truly confident with themselves, would they really feel the need to pick on others?
Stop being so afraid of what’s different and try to get to know and understand them instead.
Do you really know them?
What do the ones that bully really know about the ones they are bullying?
The upbringing they’ve had. The people they know or the people they’ve lost. The abuse or neglect. The sad and the hurt. Their dreams and their hopes. Their talents and their interests.
If the bullies took the time to know who they were bullying they might have found out that they weren’t so different after all.
We forgive but we never forget.
To really be bullied is a traumatic experience. The ones it happens to always remember the feeling. Some break down because of it, others learn to grow from it.
The day the bully find out that being a bully wasn’t all that nice might be years too late to get back the most faithful friend they never had.
Can you live with the consequences?
We’ve all read the stories of bullied victims that just don’t see a way out of the mess and the hurt. How someone will react to being bullied is something noone can ever predict and what if it comes down to the worst outcome imaginable. Could you live with knowing that parts of it was your fault?
I don’t think the world will ever be free of bullies. That might sound like a horrible thing to write but I just don’t see a realistic plan to get rid of it. I do however think that bullying should have a lot tougher consequences. The ones who see what’s happening to people that has a hard time with really standing up to the cruelty they are facing need to lend a helping hand.
Thr bullies might seem strong but the truth is that there are more of us who are against it than the few that really bully.
So know this, I will stand by and watch what happens. I will tell them the words that will hurt more than any bully can throw back.
I will tell them the truth.
Watch out bullies. I’m coming for you!