I loved this idea as soon as K.C. Neal filled me in about it, and it brings me great joy to be a part of this. If you’ll read her sign-up post and find you’re like-minded, it’s never too late to join in, even if this event in itself is over. You can have a February 3rd every day, you know? It’s all up to each of us 🙂
I’ve been putting a lot thought into this, into what I wanted to say. Bullying is something that grates so my first impulse when talking about it is to get worked up – it’s an impulse I always fight and overcome. Because bullying the bullies is not a solution – it’s an escalation. So instead of speaking against bullying and bullies, today I chose to speak to them as much as to everyone else.
There’s just so much I’d like to say…I hope you’ll forgive me if this post will turn huge.
There was this kid in my school, he was very nasty. Insulting and teasing people, bullying a lot of kids, shoving, intimidating, taking money, always disturbing class, antagonizing all his teachers.
A day came when his antics got a teacher to call his parents (namely his dad) to school; I remember that day vividly. His dad came, we all knew about it and a lot of us, from different classes and years, sneaked our way to the lobby where they were talking. We were feeling like finally someone will put him in his place, you know? Punish him for being such a pest.
I remember looking at him and being in awe; the bully, the dreadful thing that seemed so intimidating, was cowering away from his dad, his shoulders hunched and his head down. The teacher left, and then out of the blue his dad started dragging him out by his T-shirt into the courtyard, where he proceeded to slapping the hell out of him in front of all the other kids. I can still see it clearly in my head, the way the boy’s head was almost trying to fly away from his body with each slap. His dad was shouting at him, stuff like “You think you’re a tough guy, huh? Embarrassing me by having your teachers call and complain about you? Speak up, tough guy, don’t have anything nasty to say to me do you? It’s only these wimps in school that you’re all tough on, huh?”
And I remember us all looking at the boy and realizing with twisted guts that he didn’t seem really scared about the beating and the humiliating. It didn’t look like it was a new situation to him, he seemed used to it. I felt bad for him, I wanted to help him somehow…so I went and got a teacher out there, eventually a security guard had to escort the man out. I remember feeling pity for that boy; he just sat down on some stairs and slowly everyone walked away from him, some laughing or talking about how he got his ass kicked. Nobody went to ask him if he was ok, if he needed something, they all just walked away, including the teachers.
It dawned on me that kids were mean to other people because their parents, or someone else close to them was really mean to them. I had developed this theory about people when I was 7 years old and told my mother my aunt was such a mean person because she’d had a very unhappy childhood, so by age 13 I was sure it applied to bullies as well. People aren’t born bullies, they’re pushed, shoved, intimidated, bullied into it a lot of the time.
Don’t be that kid’s dad, don’t allow your ignorance, lack of love and understanding create the bullies of tomorrow, they’re the ones that will make victims out of your kids if you haven’t by any chance made them bullies instead.
I see all people as being equal. It means we all have the same rights, liberties and the same responsibilities. Religion, sexual orientation, political belief, race, economic status, social status, weight, height, looks, whatever else seems to make someone in any way different from others doesn’t take away or enhance any of their liberties, responsibilities and freedoms. Whatever we call what we pray to, whoever we love and want to spend our life or a night with (as long as both parties are consenting adults!), however we look, wherever we’re from or going towards – it gives none of us a right to look down upon or hate anyone else for doing it differently. If you believe in a god, and you think or are told this god, whatever or whoever it may be, loves you when you hate someone else because of what they do in their private lives or who and what they are, you’re way, wayyy off track; faith is not about hate, it’s about solidarity and unconditional love, all faiths have the same bottom line. You can quote me chapter and verse from wherever you like, if the message you’re getting is “Hate, your god wants you to!” you’re not getting it at all. Don’t project your human weaknesses and faults onto your idea of a god, it should be the other way around, you trying to promote their divine essence.
The way I see it, each of us is different in some way or the other. Our differences make us who we are, but it’s our common traits that make us all human beings – and both things are a part of us. So when you hate someone, you hate them for being different from you in any way, you also hate them for what you have in common, you hate yourself and everyone else around, even if you don’t realize it yet.
Nasty comments are bad ways of saying you’re insecure, you’re afraid, you’re alone, you’re in need of attention, care and perhaps love. That’s what it means to me. We’re not separated from the rest of the world, we’re all together in spirit, though we sometimes lose track of it.
Because we believe in love and not hate, we’re willing to give that care, attention, love to you, you just need to stop trying to hurt people around you and you’ll feel it, that wave of unconditional love coming from everyone.
Because we love you for your faults and qualities alike, because you’re our brother or sister or whatever you’d like to identify yourself as. All you have to do to get what you want, what you need, is to reach out and ask for it nicely. If there isn’t anyone around you who you feel is willing to give you that care, attention and love, it means you’re going to have to extend your circle of friends – the world is a huge place, and possibilities are limitless, don’t quit on yourself and give up, put in more effort, you’re worth it.
We love you because of your efforts and for your results. We love you for your generosity and your desire to take. We love you for your fears and for your courage. We love you for who you are, regardless of who or what that is. Because you should love yourself for all of those things as well.
You’re not alone. And once you’ll feel touched by love, true, unconditional love, you won’t be able to profess hate – so stop trying to fight your way to it, embrace it instead. It’s right here, we’re right here.