October is National Bullying Prevention Month, a topic which is near and dear to me. I think it’s apropos in light of yesterday’s post, about a woman who was cyber-bullied, but turned it into a positive and even inspirational experience. Bullying can run the gamut from name calling all the way to physical intimidation, and lots of things in between. It’s come into headlines in recent years due to several young people completing suicide, pushed over the edge by bullying.
Most people have probably been bullied at one point or another. I especially have a soft spot for people with weight issues, mental illness, and GLBTQ… okay, pretty much any underdog. Life’s so much harder when you’re not born rich, white, and privileged, but most of us get along just fine.
50 years ago, if someone were being bullied, they solved it on their own, usually by fighting. That solution worked out just fine for most kids, but it’s not an appropriate solution anymore. Society has gotten much more violent, yet more sheltered at the same time. We see violence on TV, but it’s not appropriate to throw a punch at school.
We can all prevent bullying, in ways big and small. Even if you don’t have kids or don’t know any school aged kids, you can still take an anti-bullying attitude. That means that for the month of October, no participating in gossip, no laughing at someone’s bad outfit behind their back, no voicing unkind thoughts about others. For just one month, try to treat others as you would wish to be treated if you knew what others were saying. What I mean by that is simply: don’t say anything behind someone’s back that you wouldn’t say to their face. Give it a try… I will be.