When I think about the issue of bullying, I honestly have no idea where to start. I know bullying is a serious problem, but I confess that most days I don't take it seriously. I don't put myself in the girl's shoes who eats lunch alone because the other girls think she's weird. Or the boy who gets made fun of for being different. Or the girl who has zero self-worth today because she was constantly ridiculed in school for being overweight. The guy who has serious insecurity issues now because of how much bullying shaped who he has become.
I don't take it seriously enough, and I dare say, you don't either. If you're not dealing with this on a daily basis, it's easy to just, not think about it. And I think that's the issue. It's people like you and me, who don't really think seriously about the problem of bullying. Sure, we'll jump on the bandwagon and agree with the fact that we need to be nicer, not so judgy, and love people more, but when have you actually done it? When have you gone out of your way to sit with the "weird" girl at the lunch table? To get to know about her life? When was the last time you stood up for the kid getting made fun of after class? Or for the people like me who aren't in school, when's the last time you hung out with that person you know doesn't have many friends? Taken the time to sit and just listen to his/her story? If you're anything like me, it hasn't been recently.
I need to be better about this. About practically living this out. Not just saying it. We've all been there. In that place where we're the ones being bullied. Wow, how much does it hurt! I can almost physically feel the hurt just thinking about it. But, we've all been in that place where we have been the bully-er, too. We've probably never hit someone or outright yelled insults in someone's face, but we've said the sharp comment behind someones back.. written the mean comment online… gossiped about what you heard she did last weekend… it's got to stop. And I'm speaking to myself here too. This can't be taken lightly. Those nasty comments and hurtful actions stick with people way past middle or high school. It affects your life long after. When I see clips from the " The Bully Project" documentary, and even simply hear stories from my younger siblings about what they see and go through, I'm heartbroken and astounded at how bad it is. So bad that a 10 year old girl was bullied to the point of taking her own life because it was THAT bad. It's unreal… yet so very real. I'm thankful to get a good slap in the face with how big of an issue this is thanks to greater awareness in general, and by projects like this documentary. I needed it. Let's all wake up to how big of a problem this is and start practically living out Love to those around us!!
"Be Kind. For everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle." - Plato
For more information on how to help, visit The Bully Project!