Much has been said and written recently on the subject of bullying, in light of some tragic suicides. And, while bullying in schools and amongst teenagers and young adults is nothing new, it seems that bullying has gained a whole new dimension, thanks largely to technology, social networking and the Internet.
Instead of inflicting cuts and bruises on their victims in the playground after school, bullies can now torture their prey morning, noon and night and reach into the sanctuary of their own homes.
Many of these taunts, such as those posted on the Internet, do not disappear as quickly as cuts and bruises. Once uploaded, they may very well be out there forever, allowing victims no reprieve, even when their bullies are not within physical proximity.
A teacher, who was talking to her class about bullying, gave them the following exercise to perform. She asked the children to take out a piece of paper and she told them to crumple it up, stomp on it and really mess it up, but not to rip it.
Then she had them unfold the paper, smooth it out and look at how scarred and dirty it was. She then told them to tell it they’re sorry.
“Even though you said you were sorry and tried to fix the paper, look at all the scars you left behind,” she said.
“Those scars will never go away, no matter how hard you try to fix them. That is what happens when a child bullies another child, or an adult bullies another adult; they may say they’re sorry, but the scars are there forever.”
I have some knowledge of bullying in the workplace. I know that the wounds left by bullying remain raw and painful, and, while the pain sometimes decreases with time, they permanently alter one’s psychological make-up, much as a disfiguring cut or abrasion does to one’s physical skin.
I grieve deeply for those young people who have taken their own lives because they either believed the things that their bullies said about them, or they simply couldn’t live with the thought that other people believed them.
As the saying goes, “Don’t undermine your worth by comparing yourself with others. It is because we are different that each of us is special. Don’t set your goals by what other people deem important; only you know what is best for you. Don’t take for granted the things closest to your heart. Cling to that as you would your life, for without them life is meaningless. Don’t let your life slip through your fingers by living in the past or the future. By living your life one day at a time, you live all the days of your life.”
Thought for the week
As your thought for the week, never underestimate the power of your words and actions!