Remember when we were little and we were told to toughen up when someone hurt our feelings? While it was hard to do, overtime we learned that if we could do this, it would help us, not only as children, but it would help us to lead a full and healthy adult life. In life, it doesn’t matter who you are, at some point everyone will be the victim of bullying and pretty much everyone will be a practitioner of some sort. Even if the bullying is just making fun of a bully.
We all need to take responsibility for our actions. Bottom-line, none of us are perfect and we all need to learn a couple things about life. For those of you who believe bullying is the silent killer, I suggest you look from a different perspective. Now, don’t get me wrong, I do think we need to encourage our children to not be bullies. It is smart to work with our school and after-school systems to seek out and stop bullying where we can. But we also need to understand human nature. Kids will be kids, and we need to teach our kids how to deal with negative circumstances. In the media, bullying is presented in a form that seems overwhelming for kids to handle on their own. Instead of encouraging kids to stand up to bullies, we are giving them hundreds of different websites, counselors and 1-800 Dial Lines to find help elsewhere.
Remember the great American Movies that showed the nerdy protagonist stand up to the bully? Christmas is coming up and one of my favorite holiday movies is “A Christmas Story.” For those of you who remember and/or have watched the film, there was a very memorable bullying scene. In the scene the protagonist (Ralphie), finally stands up to the bully and beats the ever-living piss out of him. For those of you who thought that was wrong of Ralphie to do, unfortunately you have forgotten what it means to be an American. The underdog despite being outmanned and outgunned, eventually gets fed up with living in fear. The chances of a victory might not be high, but the passion and bravery it takes to stand up to someone is very admirable to say the least.
Believe it or not, I used to get bullied A LOT when I was younger. Yeah, I know, sounds crazy, but it’s the truth. When I was in elementary school, I would come home and cry in my bathroom every day because people called me “Fatty,” or my personal favorite “Pepperoni Nipples.” I guess I had fully developed nipples at a young age…. Then, because of an action of mine, things changed. One day all the stars aligned and I stood up to my bully. I threw a fist with all my might, and missed the bully by 3 feet. The funniest part of the story is that I was a foot taller and 50 pounds heavier than the kid who made my elementary school experience seemingly unbearable. That swing and miss scared away the bully. So, once I threw that punch, I was never picked on again by that kid or anyone else to be honest. All that time I spent crying my eyes out at home could have ended if I just grew a pair and stood up for myself from the beginning.
We now live in the age of cyberbullying!!!! You want me to tell you how to stop cyberbullying? Some of that cyberbullying is caused by us in the first place. That is, EVERYONE, STOP SENDING NUDESSSSSS or provocative pictures of yourselves…….. If you don’t know by now, if you send any pictures to anyone, it is getting out. No ifs, ands, or buts. If anything is put up online, it is permanent. Again, no ifs, ands, or buts. If you continue to make the same mistakes, I am not going to raise a shit ton of money for cyber-bullying awareness. Especially when it’s your boy who can’t stop taking pictures of his piper. Please, don’t waste our money or time……. You can’t cry out “POOR ME” and/or “It’s not my fault!” when the pictures go viral throughout the school. So, make sure our kids clearly understand the risk with having the world of communication and information in the palm of their hands.
Now, even if you don’t send inappropriate stuff out, there is still lots of cyberbullying out there. So, if people say mean things about you online, you simply confront them the next day at school or work or wherever face to face. When people talk mean and tough online, you should wait and see how cowardly they are in person.
So, if you find yourself crying in the bathroom like little Jason once did, remember how good it will feel once you free yourself from being bullied. Truth is, most bullies are cowards. If we teach our kids how to deal with bullies honestly as parents, bullying will become something we laugh about. Bullying would cease to exist when fear is removed from the person being bullied. This makes fear the bully’s weapon of choice. You remove fear, (the thing that makes it all worth it for the bully) and you my friends, have freedom.