I would like to touch on something that has been in the headlines a great deal recently. Bullying. When you think of the word bully, you can most likely bring from your memory someone you know who was bullied as a child/youth, or a person who was a bully. It didn’t have to be directed at you to have an impact on your life. As I grew up, bullying was not unfamiliar to me. Not only was I bullied, with an attempt at making me feel less of a person – I also knew many people who were in the same boat. The point is this – it happens everywhere.
This generation, however, is even more susceptible to being tormented by bullying. A new word was coined by journalist Neil Mar. This word, bullycide, is a sad reality. It speaks of children and teens who are teased with no mercy – made fun of because they are different, or because someone finds it funny to torment others. Bullycide is a term used to describe suicide as a result of bullying.
Whichever the case, many people cannot handle this sort of verbal or physical bullying. Depression becomes a very real aspect of their lives. Some see suicide as the only option – the only way escape is possible. To remove themselves from the situation, removes them from the pain. As I mentioned, this generation is more susceptible. This is the technology generation. There is a new form of bullying: cyberbullying. As social media grows, bullies have a larger pool to cast their net to find victims to terrorize.
The well know saying, “Sticks and stones can break my bones, but words will never hurt me” is such a lie. Words can cut deep. Words can build a person up, or in the instance of bullying – can tear a person down.
My entire point is this – choose your words and your actions carefully. How you act, react and treat a person can make a lasting impression / difference in their life. Be instrumental in sharing hope, not hate. Don’t be a party to bullying of any kind. If you see it, stop it. If you see someone being bullied, be a friend. Let people know they aren’t alone, and that together people can stand and make a difference against bullying.
As a parent (or even as a friend trying to help another friend), take a proactive role in your childs life. Take time to know them. Worry less about being their best friend, and actually parent them. You may just find that being a parent also means being the best friend and confidant they may ever have. Know when things seem off. Always have an open line of communication. Care enough to ask and to be a part of their life. If you have that nagging feeling that something just isn’t right, don’t ignore it.
If you or someone you know is being bullied, and you see no way out – do NOT give up. Your life is worth fighting for. I strongly urge you to reach out. Seek help. Talk to a friend, counselor at school, church leadership, or anyone you can trust. Do not think yourself less of a person. Instead, rise up. Look in the mirror and see how beautiful you truly are. Your life matters. You are a living story – a story that is not finished being written yet. Always remember – hope is real!