READY… “When people hurt you over and over, think of them like sand paper. They may scratch and hurt you a bit, but in the end, you end up polished and they end up useless.” ~ Chris Colfer
AIM… I understand that October is national anti-bullying month. I know bullying has become a major issue in the school systems, especially since kids have almost unlimited access to social media. Social media provides a place where their identities are protected from behind a screen. It’s a lot easier to hurl insults and accusations when you don’t have to see the other person face to face. The truth is that bullies have existed from the dawn of time. It’s almost a survival of the fittest situation. However, it’s not ok; it’s never been ok. Sooner or later we, as parents and community members, have to stand up for what’s right and put an end to this dangerous behavior.
Most folks will argue that the crackdown has to come from home; specifically from the parents. Well, with broken families and one parent trying to do the job of two, it’s difficult to love and punish with purpose. I say that is no excuse. That is just a challenge; you can make it work regardless if you have two parents or not. It’s whether you CHOOSE to reinforce the good morals of kindness, love and honor in your home and outside of your home. Sadly, the honor of the family name doesn’t mean what it used to. Kids don’t understand the amount of trouble they can get in and how it will affect the family name and reputation. There’s so much negativity in our world that most of those inappropriate actions go unaddressed or overlooked. It’s not until that innocent young girl or awkward teen-age boy comes home and tries to hurt themselves that our society takes notice—and starts to lay blame.
You are a responsible human being with good moral character and integrity, and I challenge you to take care of the people around you. Bullying isn’t just for kids anymore. Social media has become a springboard for inappropriate messages and information from all ages. We must take responsibility to stop bullying. We must be sure we aren’t contributing to the problem; ignoring what is being posted online is condoning it. Be mindful of your texts and social media comments. Watch your words in conversations; they become your destiny. If you wouldn’t want someone else speaking to you in a specific tone or with certain phrases, don’t use them yourself. Be on the lookout for young men and women who may be in need of a trustworthy adult to confide in or provide direction for help. It’s time for each one of us to take action against bullies. Yes, in the long run, most of us have turned out to become amazing people despite our own bullying stories. However, we can’t risk the chance that just one human being slips through the cracks and falls off the radar due to a lack of awareness or fear of getting involved.
FIRE! Talk to a young person today. Ask him about his day; who he hangs out with and what his friends are like. Be interested in the things he is doing. Check up on his electronic media and be aware of who he is chatting with online. (If your kids object, tell them it is your responsibility as a parent to ensure that that they are being socially responsible.) Believe me; you’ll be doing him and yourself a favor in the long run.