I feel like my last post seemed really judgemental. It wasn't meant to be. I mean, seriously, I feel like I've been judged enough in my life. It's a horrible feeling. It was more meant to be an observation. People in this world are hurting and they'll do what ever makes sense to them in order to feel happy and to feel alive. And I am not judging them. I get it. I really, really do.
So, tomorrow is anti-bullying day in Vancouver. I'm not sure if it's just a BC thing or if it's country wide or what, but we'll all don pink shirts in support of everyone who has ever been bullied. We all stand up together and we say, "No, it is not okay."
I've been bullied. I remember as a kid in elementary school, my best friend all through out grades 1-6 became 'popular' and I didn't. Her new friends were not friendly to me at all.
I've bullied. I remember when I was in my tweens, inviting a girl to my birthday just because a friend had to cancel at the last minute. I was super mean to that girl. I still feel horrible about how mean I was to her.
I totally agree that bullying is horrible and needs to stop. I just wonder if we've over advertised bullying to the point where kids don't even know what real bullying really means. Q often comes home from school and says he's been bullied by so and so over such and such. Every single time, this kid has kind of gotten the idea wrong...."So and so got mad at me..." or "Such and such is so bossy..." or "This person said he didn't like what I brought for sharing." I'm like, Dude, people are allowed to have opinions that are different than yours. Just because he likes different things doesn't mean he's bullying you. Or just because someone starts bossing you around doesn't mean he's a bully. It means you need to stand up and speak your mind too.
It seems to me as though kids think any form of adversity is bullying. And it seems to me that by glorifying bullying we're allowing kids to play the victim. And I can't speak for all the other parents of all the other kids out there, but I will not allow my kid to be the victim. He needs to find his voice, and stand up to people. Instead of being anti-bully, I am totally pro-strength.
Q and I have had the opportunity to have some pretty awesome discussions around bullying. Because here's the thing...every bully has a reason why he/she is a bully. People don't just wake up one day thinking they're going to be mean. Something pivotal happens in every life that makes a person a bully. For example, Q has a *friend* who says he's the best ball hockey player ever and everyone wants him on his team and he scores all the goals. But then Q realizes that this boy doesn't even know the rules of the game and he wonders aloud to me, "Why would he lie about something like that?"
Feelings of inadequacy, the desire to be something you're not or something more start really, really early. Those feelings start when you're 8 years old. Why can't we address that? Why can't we talk about the fact that Q's friend is a habitual liar at 8 to make himself look/feel better? Why can't we wear a yellow shirt or a purple shirt in support of every body being able to find the strength to be who they really are? And why does it have to be so early?
Let's address the parents that aren't giving their children the attention or the validation they so desperately desire. Let's address the fact that children are bully's because someone somewhere doesn't care about this little life with the care that they deserve.
Bullying makes me mad, absolutely it does. But the bully makes me sad. It breaks my heart.
So yes, let's say "No" to bullying. But can we take care of the bully too? If bullying starts with 8 year olds...can we take care of an 8 year old? Can we take care of their hearts? Can we get them to the point where we they don't need to be a bully in order to feel better about themselves?
Can we do that?