Bullying can be a negative action whereby a person intentionally harms another person through verbal and non verbal put downs or through physical contact. It is repetitive, negative and harmful. Bullying is somebody stealing another person’s power. Bullying can also be sexual harassment, somebody repeatedly making comments about your body, or looking at it in an inappropriate way. Even hand groping, brushing up against you is sexual assault, and that is classified as bullying. We live in such a technological world now, that bullying has entered cyberspace. Bullying can range from hate pages, posting inappropriate photos on the internet, sexting, and assassin scam emails threatening to kill you.
Bullying is also characterized by an individual or individuals, politicians and governments or countries who behave in a certain way to gain power over another person, or group or country. At its worst a bully country can say to another country: ‘If you don’t do what I say, I will drop a bomb on you.’ An individual can say: ‘If you tell another person I will harm you or kill you.’ Countries can be bullied so much that many innocent people die. An individual can be bullied so much they can resort to taking their lives.
Bullies steal power. Targets give their power up. Many bystanders collude, and pretend it’s not happening. Bullying exists because too many of us sweep it under the carpet. Bullies maintain their power because we don’t speak up. Bullies threaten if you tell someone I will hurt you. If you tell someone I will shame you. If you tell someone I will spread rumours and nobody will believe you. If you tell someone I will kill you.
That is their only power, the power of a threat. If we speak up about it, the bullies would become impotent. Lets speak up, out and aloud. It’s an opportunity to be creative, and save the emotional well being of our peers. And in some cases we will be saving somebodies life.
We live in a world where bullying has become, sadly, socially acceptable. ‘Oh it’s just part of life, part of growing up,’ people bemoan, without even considering an end in sight. There can be an end to bullying if we are prepared to speak out and do something about it. It does not have to remain part of our lives. And there are healthier ways to help kids grow up. However, the reality is that all of us sometime in our lives would have either bullied, been bullied, been a bystander or all three of these things. No matter whether we have been a bully, a target or a bystander, we all need to be listened to and helped.
We all need to heal from bullying or conflict, whether we are the people who have been harmed, or if we are the people causing the harm.
Bullying hurts people. Bullying scars people. Bullying destroys families. Bullying kills people. BULLYING MUST STOP.