Bullying is alive and well. I remember intensely my first years at school…and learning that not everyone was going to be nice to me or even try to get along. I had no idea that people actually went out of their way to hurt, intimidate and abuse others. I was punched in the stomach, had the wind knocked out of me several times, chased home, laughed at, made fun of by both boys and girls.
I was raised in a religious home and the first rules we learned were the Ten Commandments. We learned manners, we learned to be kind. We were told to turn the other cheek – that to react with violence was wrong. Well, I have learned that turning the other cheek is something you can do occasionally but sometimes you just have to stand your ground and say No more…I am refusing to be bullied.
I watched a story on the news last night – a cell phone video of a teenaged boy in southern Ontario picking a defenseless girl up and slamming her whole body to the ground, hitting her head and knocking her unconcious. The rage, the violence and the total disrespect of another human being shocked me. We are getting shocks like this in the news daily.
Another big story this week is about a defenseless man being shot to death. – and I fear that guns seem to give their owner the right to use them to hurt others without a thought. it is discouraging that in my senior years I am seeing repeats of news stories that I thought were in the past. Even going on vacation puts you at risk. I am not saying hide in your home, but I am saying it’s honestly time we did something to stop the insanity. The color of your skin, your age, your ability or disability, your station in life – we cannot change some things…but we sure can change how we act toward others.
I always hoped that I would grow up fast so I could be in charge of my life – an adult and be safe because I was grown up like everyone else. I was wrong. It isn’t that safe. It isn’t that easy to be a senior,(or any age) and it isn’t easy to stand up against bullies.
I have met bullies in my workplaces, in my neighborhood, in my town. I continue to see the need to protect the vulnerable. I am trying to make a difference in my corner – I hope you will look around and really see who is near you – who may be suffering in silence.
Kindness truly can make a difference. Standing up for what is right is a hard thing to do – but I cannot lock my door,, close my eyes and forget – if I do it…then who is going to protect me?
Can we spread this story and remind others to just extend a hand, give a smile, give everyone some hope that there is kindness in the world. No one should live in fear – but they do