Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Bullying... is not cool, not ever.

Jo Jo sent me a text last night - saying I should blog about gay teen suicide due to bullying. She's a smart kid (not so much a kid now at 21, but still... ) who can't tolerate bullying of any kind. She wasn't raised to look away, she was raised to stand up and be counted. More than that -she cares very much about people. (And quite frankly she can kick serious ass!!)
There has been a huge upswing in suicides due to the bullying of teens and young adults. This should not be happening!! 

I don't get where people think they have the right to judge and torment others because they don't fit into their tidy little box view of the world. Suck it up people. We're all different. You don't have the right to make someone miserable and to destroy lives.
And when it comes down to it - we're all gnats at the mercy of mother nature and the universe - you really want to make life harder for people than it really is?? How is that smart? 

Personally, I am anti suicide - not because it's a sin but because it leaves families with gapping holes, guilt, zero answers, and huge pain. It's so very difficult for those left behind to move past it. But in saying that - I do understand how people could see no alternative. Kids in particular.

I was bullied. I know what that feels like. It's pure misery. And to live with it, day in and day out can be unbearable. I'm also very lucky in that I'm tough, resilient - and a great believer in karma. (Sometimes I just wish karma would hurry the hell up... I'm not perfect - no one is!)

Please don't condone bullying and belittling of others. No one needs that. Kids do not need that. Kids need love and understanding and support. They need to know people care, and that good people are out there- people who will not tolerate bullying. And yeah, teasing a little boy because he wears his hair long is BULLYING. Teasing someone who talks differently, walks differently, wears different clothes, thinks differently... it's BULLYING. Teasing is not fun - you may think it is... you may think it's hilarious to make fun of someone. It's not. It hurts. It hurts deeply. It zaps confidence and destroys self esteem. Allowing that sort of behavior to go unchecked is as bad as doing it yourself. Don't be a bully enabler.

And for anyone being bullied for any reason - Hang in there - it does get better!!

Pauley Perrette made a video for the 'It gets better' project. And quite frankly I think she says it well!!

You can see more video's here - or make your own and submit it.


Story Teller said...

Great post, Cat. I come from a family of "teasers", and now I have no tolerance for people who say something cruel, only to defend themselves with "I was only teasing". I think we should call teasing what it really is - a "safe" way to say something mean about another person. I don't know anyone who enjoys being the subject of teasing.

I was bullied for a very short time in high school, but luckily had some friends in tough places who scared the bullies off. I can't imagine the hell some kids go through, where constant bullying is a fact of life. We really need to teach kids--and adults--that bullying is never okay.

Cat Connor said...

There used to be a school program run in conjunction with police here that taught kids/families how to deal with bullying. Because of that at the The Boy Wonder's primary school was at - there was ZERO bullying. What we had instead was the most fabulous spirit of acceptance. Those kids carried that with them through high school and now university/life.
We need more of this.

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