Go Green or Go Home

Accept and Conquer: Stop the Bullies April 17, 2013

BULLYING: PRESENT PARTICIPLE OF BULLY. VERB: To use superior strength or influence to intimidate (someone), typically to force him or her to do what one wants.

BULLY: NOUN: 1. A person who uses strength or power to intimidate those who are weaker. 2. Corned beef. 

I think we’re all aware of what bullying is. Bullying is picking on that kid who’s different than everyone else. Bullying is whispering behind the loser’s back. Bullying is making someone hurt inside. Bullying is causing someone to cry themselves to sleep every night. And most of all — bullying is mean. Wrong. Terrible. There is a whole mound of adjectives I could use to describe bullying. And let’s face reality: bullying exists. Bullying may always exist, and it probably always has existed. But the thing is, bullying isn’t okay. Just because a lot of people do it will never make it okay.

Why Do Bullies Bully People?

Only bullies can really, truly answer this. Guidance counselors throw around things like, “They feel alone, or they feel terrible, and they need to get their feelings out.” That’s probably true. People aren’t born mean (unless your name is Tom Riddle), and they don’t wake up every morning only thinking about all the people they could torture and how many people they’re going to force to give them whatever they want (again, this is only true if your name is Tom Riddle). They might wake up feeling terrible, and they might need to take that terrible feeling out on somebody who they wish they could be, or who they’re jealous of, or who they genuinely don’t like because they annoy them. The latter is the worst reason, and you should just ignore them or try to show them who you really are because if they can’t see that you’re amazing just the way you are (to quote Bruno Mars), they need glasses or contacts.

What are Some Types/Forms of Bullying?

I think we all know a lot of the types of bullying — we’ve been hearing about them all of our lives. There are name-callers, weight-teasers, sexual-orientation-make-fun-of-ers, cyberbullies, family-bullies, disability-meanies, and the like. But it really all comes down to this: all the different people in the world (which is weird because nobody is exactly the same as everybody else) will experience some kind of bullying. Forms of bullying can include hitting and kicking (physical), name-calling and teasing (verbal), in a note (written), or on the internet (cyber).


Why do People Get Bullied?

Well, I guess I kind of already touched on that in the last heading, because I talk a lot and sometimes the things that I say don’t sound right all next to each other. So, anyway, why do people get bullied?  Well, like I said, people get bullied because they’re different. They get bullied because their hair is a different color or their humor is a little different or their voice is too high or too low or their religion is different or uncommon or their sexual preference is difference or their weigh too much or too little. People get bullied because who they are is not widely accepted by society, because they are part of the minority in some way. This is not okay, because, as you may know, people in the minorities tend to be quite awesome because they have a different perspective on life or they have experienced different things that not everybody has that makes them a better person.


Can We Stop Bullying?

Some people say, no, we can’t stop bullying. Bullies are everywhere. There are bullies in the workplace, bullies in the senior center, bullies in the daycare, bullies on the internet, bullies at school, bullies at stores and restaurants, and bullies everywhere else. They say human nature will not change, and that nothing, no prevention, nothing, can stop bullies. But did you know that 1 in 12 teens attempt suicide? Did you know that depression rates have tripled in people 12-15 years old? Don’t you think that that’s terrible? Don’t you think that that can be, if not totally stopped, at least lessened a little? If bullying has always been here, than why did depression rates triple, why are suicidal attempts so high? Bullying is serious.


How do We Stop Bullying?

Raise awareness. Support people. Don’t bully. Use bystander power. Go to adults. Stand up for yourself. Help pass laws against bullying. Think about what you say before you say it. Whatever you can think of, do it! And if you’re being bullied and are contemplating suicide or self-harm or anything like that, tell someone. Tell someone. Don’t let it slide. Don’t let yourself slide into depression. Call a suicide hotline. Go to a support group. Tell your parents or a teacher. Stand up for yourself. Do something.


I recently watched a movie called Cyberbully in my Computers class at school, and it was touching and sad. You can read about it in the Wikipedia article supplied by the link. It does contain minor spoilers, but it is such a sad movie that I cried. I, the person who barely ever cries, cried. It also raises some good points about cyberbullying. If you haven’t watched it, I would strongly recommend it.


~Mary, author at Bonsai


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