There is a lot of talk on social media and in the news about bullying. This is a serious problem that negatively affects people well into adulthood, if not for their whole lives. It is a perpetual cycle that does not end unless we stop it. People lash out at others because they have been lashed out at. They take abusive hacks at people who they see as weaker and/or don’t have the defenses to protect themselves. When we feel powerless, we often give it when we can give it and, unfortunately, it is typically at the expense of those weaker or more timid than we are. The "victims" of bullying are two-fold: the bully-er and the bully-ee. We need to remember both aspects of this problem.
We have seen all kinds of backlashes from bullying including everything from the tragedy of Columbine (the initial victims of bullying becoming the bully-ers) to the sad story of Amanda Todd. Combine people who are emotionally and psychologically in a very desperate, isolated place with the right amount of taunting and they can easily be sent over the edge. The core sadness and depression does not come only from being bullied but those feelings are magnified by it. People feel like they have nowhere to turn and that they are not worth the love and attention of people who actually do care.
Taking your own life or taking the life of another person is a very empty, sad place to be. It is really unfortunate that it has come to that so many times. We, as a society, have a responsibility to the children with whom we are in contact to show them that they matter. They must be shown them that we care and that they have people to whom they can turn in a time of need. If they know this, then, when they feel desperate and alone, they are more likely to come cry on our shoulder instead of turning to a much darker place.
The psychosocial health of society is an issue that deserves our attention. Loved, confident, healthy people don’t tend to need things like drugs, promiscuous sex, and/or negative attention like bullying would bring to make them feel they matter. In the darkest of places, it feels so good to have somebody tell you that you are beautiful and smart if you have felt ugly and stupid your whole life. It does not matter if that person is only telling you that to trick you into doing something that is wrong and perhaps dangerous. It just feels so good to get a little bit high on yourself when all you have known is feeling low. We need love; we need unconditional love and support from the people that we trust. It starts with parents. If we have that, we feel good about ourselves at our core, even if, in the moment, we are depressed or sad.
Every person reading this post knows somebody or is somebody who needs more love. They need a hug and a shoulder. Why is it that we judge and hate instead of trying to understand and love? It is our responsibility as human beings to take care of one another. There is too much hate in this world and we all have the power to stop it. If you see somebody being bullied, you don’t need to be a hero and put yourself at risk. You can, however, tell an authority or you can talk to the victim and help him or her through a tough time. Even if you have no idea what to say, just being there can sometimes be enough.
The children in our society are suffering and this is going to result in more and more dysfunctional adults who are capable of more and more harm. Bully-ers and bully-ees are our children. It all comes right back around to us. Don’t let this continue to spread. Don’t allow it to happen on your watch!