In this day and age in which we live a small yet violent force is slowly gaining power. One out of every four students has experienced it and over 70% have witnessed it in action. It’s something that is blatantly wrong and is making the youth of today, you and I, feel insecure, worthless and for some even suicidal. That force is bullying. In schools, workplaces and even our homes bullying is a common and unpleasant occurrence and for many just a day to day reality, but why? Why in an age where equality and fairness to all has never been so hard pursued and yet never grasped? However for many of us bullying is a common term for name calling or the odd shove in the playground but in reality it’s much more.
So what is bullying? Well, bullying is really a generic term with many sub-groups these are; physical, verbal, social, psychological and cyber. Physical bullying is when a person or a group of people use physical actions to bully someone; such as hitting, poking, tripping or pushing repeatedly and intentionally damaging someone’s belongings. Verbal bullying is the repeated or systematic name calling, insults, gender specific or racist remark and verbal abuse. Social bullying is indirect actions, such as lying about someone, spreading rumours, playing a nasty joke that make the person feel humiliated or powerless, and mimicking or deliberately excluding someone. Psychological bullying is threatening, manipulating or stalking someone, and cyber bullying is a method of bullying that uses technology. Unfortunately, most of these forms happen at school or in the school environment. We all come to school to gain an education, to grow and expand as individuals and this doesn’t come without it’s challenges, however to some a challenge can become too much, they seem to have a passionate hatred of hard work. However, we are normally scared of such individuals, they mock a good grade, they make simply being normal seem a stupid existence. However in actual fact, that fear that feeling of self-hate is actually what a bully is experiencing. Bullying at school is one of the worst experiences to have as it is at a time in our life when we are in need of nurturing and the seed of self-confidence planting, this ultimately means we can go on and develop into who we want to be. You should let no one get in the way of your dreams, plunder you stores of knowledge, good will and cheery disposition.
As it was once said “before you judge a man, walk a mile in his shoes”. It’s a simple yet powerful phrase and in this case I’m thinking about the bullies not the bullied. Now this may sound strange after all I’ve said about how bad being a bully is, but before we class someone as a mean, low-down skunk who takes pleasure from inflicting pain and gaining their end no matter what, let’s take a walk in their shoes. Imagine waking up every day to a life of pure hell. A life were you experience no love, no companionship, a life were other parents tell their children to shun you because you pull hair, or smell. What can a student do if their parents don’t teach them what’s right and wrong? What else do they know if all they’ve ever experienced is pain and suffering? Those poor children, the children who commit most of this bullying simply give what they receive. Life is a choice, whether you’re rich or poor, and each day you make that choice when you come to school, or do the house chores or go to work, how you will act and react to people and situations. Now bullies come from different backgrounds, rich, poor, favoured and humbled, but the root cause is nearly always the same. They want attention. They want love. They want the simple necessities to encourage growth. For anything to grow there are four things needed. The first three are usually easy to come by, but the fourth is often mist. Light, food, water and a sprinkling of love and kindness. What the most annoying thing for any gardener? Weeds! Bullies are the same, their tough, resilient and if you don’t get rid of the root they spread fast and get tougher and tougher.
So all around the world people are talking about bullying and how to resist it, stop it from ruining someone’s life. However, this is only a temporary measure but still an essential one. So in this school let’s make the change let’s make the difference so that you as the next generation can bring up your children in an environment that nurtures and cares so the bad is slowly weeded out. So, to stand up to a bully you have to get inside the head of the bully and what’s important to understand is that they thrive on reaction. They want to see you react, they want to make you feel as small and as worthless as they do. Thankfully, there are ways to react that will stop the bullying and make the bully realis the futility of what they are doing. Firstly practice confidence, practice ways to respond to the bully verbally or through your behaviour. Practice feeling good about yourself, even if it means faking it first. Secondly ignore the bully and walk away. It’s definitely not a coward’s response and this can sometimes be the hardest thing to do, in fact often harder than losing your temper. Bullies thrive on the reaction they get, and if you walk away or ignore hurtful emails or instant messages, you’re telling the bully that you just don’t care. Thirdly seek guidance or ask for help when you or someone is bullied. It may help to talk to a guidance counsellor, teacher, or friend. Anyone who can give you the support you need. Talking is a great outlet for the fears and frustrations that can build when you’re being bullied but make sure whoever you talk to is someone you can trust and find support in. Finally, take charge of your life. You can’t control other people’s actions, but you can stay true to yourself. Find ways to stay strong in a bullying situation so you help yourself and others.
Put simply, bullying is an abuse of your human rights. It is a serious problem with serious mental and physical impacts. It can affect you at home, school, and work, in your social life and in your ability to feel happy, healthy and secure. It is a parasitical exchange, where one person gains a benefit from hurting another. Don’t ever forget that you have the right to feel safe, happy and secure. Today’s problem isn’t so much the bullying itself, bullying has been around for centuries. The problem is that it is difficult to escape from its cruelty. But if there is one thing I want you to learn from our time together, it’s this. If you experience bullying or see it happening, you don’t have to fight back. Stay resilient and face adversity head on, remember stay true to yourself and your values!