Tuesday, October 16, 2012

October is _____________ month.

It seems like every month is National "something" month!  It's either Breast Cancer awareness, or some kind of "_____________  history month" (fill in your favorite nationality here).  I just heard online, from Facebook (so it must be true, right?) that this is also National Anti-bullying month.   While I think we go overboard on special days and months (Talk like a pirate day was last month), this is one I thing that needs to be talked about.
At the school where I work we have been talking about bullying and, in fact, will have an anti-bullying assembly this week.  Some kids are not even aware of it at school, but some are keenly aware because they have been the victim of it OR the perpetrator of it.  It's been going on as long as I can remember.  I was one of those kids that was "teased" (bullied?) in school. In some ways it's not a big deal because, well, we've all endured it.  But in other ways it's a huge deal because of what it has caused in people's lives.
We've heard a lot about it in recent months... kids who are bullied on social media networks, at school, through text messaging, etc.  and then end up attempting suicide or actually succeed in taking their own lives. It's truly a tragedy when this happens.
In doing some training in this area over the past few months I saw that, it's not just kids that are bullied, it can be anyone!  I saw a clip (again, from Facebook) about a news reported that got an email from a viewer criticizing her for her weight.  This is a form of bullying!
Bullying not only happens in the school and online.  It happens in the church.  My husband and I were bullied big time!  People hungry for power and control use words and actions to belittle someone else.  They spread gossip, they criticize instead of offering help!  Think of the results of such words and actions.  In our case in led to the demise of a church.  And now there are people still without a church because of this!
Think of the results of teasing/bullying someone in school for being, in any way at all, different... in the case of some we've heard of in the news and those we know personally.... death by suicide.

"Bullying may be defined as the activity of repeated, aggressive behavior intended to hurt another person, physically or mentally. Bullying is characterized by an individual behaving in a certain way to gain power over another person.
Norwegian researcher Dan Olweus defines bullying as when a person is
"exposed, repeatedly and over time, to negative actions on the part of one or more other persons". He defines negative action as "when a person intentionally inflicts injury or discomfort upon another person, through physical contact, through words or in other ways"."
I'm seeing bullying in this upcoming election!  I saw evidence of this in watching Vice President Joe Biden treating Paul Ryan with contempt, laughing, and interrupting (82 times!) him.  He was just a bully!  I don't like bullies!  To quote Captain America, "I don't want to kill anyone. I don't like bullies; I don't care where they're from."  
My answer to all of this.... bullying at school, on the job, in a Presidential race, in a church... just "be nice!!"
Think about your words before you say them.  Think what will be true, kind AND necessary.  Let your words pass those three tests before they come out of your mouth or before you click "enter" on the computer!  Think how your words, and actions could affect someone else!  Stop the bullying, wherever you find it!!  Here's a link to find out how to help  
What if we just all treated each other with kindness, love and respect?  That could make a world of difference for someone!

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