I had a lot on my to do list today, all of which I was hoping to get done while Jack was at school. But, first was "have some breakfast" and I turned on the ABC Family movie "Cyberbully" when I sat down to eat, and before I knew it, two hours had passed. The credits were rolling and my anger was boiling over.
While I know bullying existed when I was a kid, I was never really a target. Aside from the "new kid" jokes when I moved in 8th grade, I was pretty much left alone. Not the homecoming queen or the victim, but a member of the nameless blob in between. But today, the bullying is even worse, because as the movie put it... you don't get to go home to safety anymore. Thanks to the Internet and social sites, the bullying is everywhere, a beast you can never outrun. It follows you, finding your every hiding spot. Infiltrating... attacking.... violating.... hurting... And, it never stops.
So, here's the thing I think the bullies of the world don't know... While you may be successful in ruining your target's life, the rest of us are on to you. We know why you are doing it, and we are not under the misconception that it is because your victim is a loser. It's because you are less. And we know. You don't strike out at person unless you need it to feel like you are more. And if you can't be enough without hurting someone, then you certainly aren't more.... you aren't even enough. You are less. And we know all it.
The things is, if you are really strong, you don't have to tell someone else that they are weak. Smart people don't prove it by making someone else feel dumb, and if you are beautiful, you don't show it by calling someone else ugly. Strength is measured not by picking on the weak, but by going toe to toe against equal strength and coming out victorious. Heavyweights don't take on a featherweight, do they? The smartest people solve problems, they don't create them. The beautiful people are the ones that shine from the inside, as well as the outside. You make yourself ugly when you use those terms. And while you may get a boost from showing that you have something someone else doesn't, the reality is that another person is stronger, smarter and prettier than you. And, the rest of us know it.
So rather than try to put someone else down, just to make yourself feel good... try another tactic. If you are strong, stand up for the weak. If you are smart, use that to defend someone else, and if you are beautiful, realize that through kindness you can be that much prettier. Because until then, the more you try to hurt people to show how good you are.... you'll really just end up being less. And everyone will know it.
Note: If you have tween or teens, watch this movie. It gives a realistic and terrifying portrayal of what our children are facing today, and the extent to which the bullying can push the victim over the edge. Watch it, and know that because this was a movie and not real life... it has positive resolution. But in the real world, the fade to black doesn't always come after a happy ending. Go to www.stopcyberbullying.org to learn more, and do it before it hits home.