Friday, October 19, 2012

Authors Against Bullying

Growing up in a small town, I started kindergarten with most of the same kids I graduated high school with. I was very lucky in that there was little bullying going on. Sure, there was some, but it wasn't nearly as common back then as it is now, and friends usually picked up for other friends so it wasn't so bad. I only had to deal with the regular teenage angst of not feeling as though I belong and that no one understood me. And that's hard enough without adding bullying to the  mix.

That was long before cell phones and social media were even a thought. Okay, Star Trek had communicators, but that's the closest thing there was to a cell phone unless you count walkie talkies. Nor could you take a photo and upload it in seconds so hundreds of others could see it.

Society was different back then too. I don't know exactly when it became "cool" to be mean. I see it all the time on reality shows, and even on entertainment shows, if you can call them that. Used to be entertainment news was just that--news on upcoming movies, tv shows and music. Now it's a nasty mix of gossip and criticism. Is it any wonder the kids of today think it's okay to be mean. It's what they see every day.

Please, thank you, and basic manners seem to be a thing of the past. And having respect for others seems to have become a lost art. I've never understood why everyone can't just get along. Call me naive, but I'd rather be that than jaded.

The last few years have been filled with news stories about people, especially teens, who have commited suicide because they can't deal with the pressure of bullying any longer. That is so sad it makes my heart weep. This bullying is no longer limited to school, but spills over into all aspects of life thanks to social media. This can not go on. There needs to be a dialogue between parents and children, between all members of society, that teaches tolerance.

We need to celebrate our uniqueness and differences. I don't want to live in a society where everyone looks and acts the same or has the same set of beliefs. How boring would that be. As long as a person isn't hurting another, there is nothing wrong with being different.

As for the ones doing the bulling...I feel sorry for them. You only feel the need to bully others when you have no self-confidence or sense of self worth. Those kids need help too. They're only acting as they've been taught.

This is not a school problem, but a society problem. And, unfortunately, I fear more kids will die before we figure out how to fix it.


Visit other authors against bullying!

*Each authors’ opinions on bullying are their own and do not necessarily reflect the views of all participating.


mandymroth said...

You're so right. It does seem a lot of basic manners have been lost on a chunk of society. I'm hoping we can all prove they're not got totally. Thank you for being part of this.

N.J.Walters said...

It's my pleasure to be a part of this, but I'm sad I have to be, if you know what I mean. Bullying is so hurtful and so unnecessary.

RFLong said...

I completely agree. there's a meanness permeating modern society that is chilling to behold. Basic manners and respect for each other would go a long way. Even thinking about how another feels would help.

Iniriba Greymyst said...

You hit the nail when you said it was a society issue and not just a school issue. Accountability people! We are all responsible in some form to put an end to bullying.

N.J.Walters said...

I think that's the only way it's going to end, Iniriba.

I see so much "hating" on television and in the media and wonder how we expect kids to behave kindly to one another when we as as adults condone this unacceptable behavior.

N.J.Walters said...

I agree RFLong. Basic manners and respect do go a very long way.

Taryn Raye said...

Basic manners seems to be becoming a great lost art. We've tried our best to instill good manners in our kids, which I guess is why they find it so surprising sometimes when they encounter other kids who are not so kind and courteous and come home to tell us about it. I would love to see them live in a world where everyone could be treated well and there wasn't so much hatred and meanness.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

My post is up on my blog.
Taryn Raye

Donna said...

I was too tall, too skinny, to smart, too whatever. Haters are going to hate. I was never one of the cool kids so I was bullied on occasion at school but it was nothing compared to the bullying I got at home.
I think my kids had it worse at school as some of the social filters we had as kids have eroded to the point of non-existence. In some ways it is better. There is more information out there and role models are speaking up and out against bullies. More needs to be done at home, in schools and in the media.
My daughter is Jewish and a lesbian living in the bible-belt. How she has grown into the incredible woman she has despite all the negativity is one of life's great mysteries and one of my greatest blessings.
I think blogging about this is a good thing. Thank you for sharing your story.

N.J.Walters said...

Thank you for stopping by and sharing your thoughts, Taryn.

N.J.Walters said...

Your daughter has become an incredible woman because she obviously has an incredible mother, Donna. Thanks for sharing.

Michelle Pillow said...

" I don't want to live in a society where everyone looks and acts the same or has the same set of beliefs. How boring would that be."

YES! I agree. Great point, NJ, and great post.

I’m very proud to be a part of this important event, and empowered by all the stories of hope and encouragement I’m reading today. It’s wonderful that people can get together and promote the positive.

N.J.Walters said...

Thanks, Michelle. I'm also very proud to be part of such a wonderful event. Any awareness we can bring to the problem has to be good.

Kat Holmes said...

I was bullied in school from kindergarten all the way through to graduation. I was so glad to get out and have never looked back, and the bullying in my day wasn't as bad as it is today. But it affected my whole life and my self-esteem. Truth be told, I know that if I had children today I wouldn't send them to school. I'd homeschool them because in the end its safer and better for their overall self respect.

Jess Haines said...

True, this situation runs deeper than just schoolyard bullying. I don't think social media is entirely to blame--I think media and the lack of a cohesive family unit has a lot to do with it.

My parents taught me manners and respect for others were important. If you don't learn it from your parents, who do you learn it from? The TV? The internet? We can't expect our iPads and cell phones to raise our kids for us.

Responsibility is a hard thing to pinpoint in this issue, because there are so many aspects that add up to the results we see in society today. We need to take it upon ourselves to be accountable and reach or educate as many people as we can.

Anyway, thank you for being a part of the hop--I appreciate your post and your views on the matter.


Valerie said...

I completely agree. I'm so sick of seeing mean behavior on the news, tv, internet etc. I don't understand what happened, maybe I was busy reading so many HEA stories and I missed it. I would say that it's the advent of reality tv, but I think it started before that. Maybe with shows like Roseann that made a habit of taking sarcasm to the lowest level. It makes my heart hurt just remembering. Even now when I see "David", who will always be David to me, on the Big Bang Theory I feel really bad for him. I know that he was playing a character but even at that, some of those barbs were sharp knives and you have to think that stuff like that stays with a person.

The worst though are these political ads, political tv, politics in general. When did it become the thing to be a bully to get elected? And I'm not just talking about the Presidential campaign. Even the lower's so bad now. It's all smear, gossip and ridiculousness. I'm saddened by it and I fear we won't recover our honor as a country.

It needs to change, we need to change, or this really is going to be the beginning of the apocalypse. No one is going to care or love their fellow man/woman. It's just going to be a whole bunch of single people out for themselves.

N.J.Walters said...

I'm sorry you had to go through that, Kat. Bullying was bad enough before social media got involved. Now it's relentless.

I agree, Jess. Kids need to be learning basic manners and respect at home. It's sad that television and media is having such a huge effect on kids.

It's sad, Valerie, how society has come to expect being mean, sarcastic and disrespectful as the norm. I find I have the television on mute more and more while I'm waiting for the few news or entertainment segments I want to see. Too much negativity.