There has been more bullying in the news recently. Bullying hasn’t gone away, it has just been buried under other news. I recently read of a 10 year old girl, Ashawnty Davis, who hanged herself because she had been bullied! 10 YEARS OLD. This beautiful girl was bullied until she thought there was no way out but to die. We must get a handle on bullying.
I just read these words from Pastor Elijah Hollis who is working to make his city, Philadelphia a better place. I love hat he took on bullying and wants to help. Here is what he had to say, and my take on it.
If you are bullied, than you are not alone! There are millions of individuals being bullied everyday! We can’t stop bullying from happening but we can learn how to handle it when it happens.
- It’s not me, it’s you. One thing to keep in mind is that bullying almost never has anything to do with you but actually has everything to do with the pain that the person bullying is feeling on the inside. Remember that hurt people hurt people, so when someone is hurting someone, it usually means that that person has been hurt by someone or something in their life and they feel like the solution is taking it out on someone else. We know this doesn’t help take away the pain, but understanding this truth can help us realize that its almost never about us but actually the person doing to bullying. I think that bullying comes from a place of power, as well. When someone is scared of losing something they will do anything to keep it, even being mean and bullying someone else. You can’t stop the person’s pain, but you can try and get yourself out of the situation. .
- Boldness speaks the loudest. Now you have to know that boldness doesn’t mean that you have no fear, but it does mean that you do the hard thing in the middle of having fear. Sometimes a simple statement like “Stop, NOW!” can make the difference. Other times letting the bully know that you are not afraid of getting an adult involved can be helpful as well. Remember that bullying usually keeps up when it is not addressed, and ignoring bullying is the worst thing you could do. Violence is never the answer but standing up IS! So stand up and be heard! I want to agree with him on this, but sometimes, even when you do speak up, no action is taken. If you tell an adult and they say there is nothing they can do, tell another adult. I know it sucks. I told my teachers I was being bullied, and they said if they didn’t see it, there was nothing they could do about it. I wish I had told my Mom, then she would have told the Principal or even gone to the Resource Officer or School Board. You have a right to be safe from bullying! Keep talking until someone does something!
- Teamwork makes the dream work. Getting a team around you that knows whats going on can be one of the most powerful ways to stop bullying! We were meant to do life together so get a few trusted friends and adults who can help you stand up against bullying! Getting adults involved is a quick way to bring resolution to the situation. Having a game plan for when the bullying takes place can help you take care of the situation quickly. Also staying with your crew can help protect against bullying all together. THIS! I used to be very confident until I was bullied to the point of my own suicide attempt. I am still sometimes nervous to walk into a crowd of kids my age that I do not know. When I go places that I know I am going to be anxious, I bring friends so that I feel more comfortable.
- Forgiveness stops YOU from becoming a bully. Don’t let what the bully did to you become a hurt that makes you into the person you dislike. If we don’t learn how to forgive one another when we get hurt, we ourselves will be in the same emotional prison that our bully is in. Believe it or not, that hurt will grow into bitterness and that bitterness into action. So take care of your heart as top priority and learn how to forgive those that hurt you! This is the thing that I feel is most important. I have forgiven the who bullied me. Many of them have come up to me and apologized.I have even become sort of a mentor for the girl who was the catalyst for it all. It was my way of taking control and regaining power over my life. Don’t be mistaken, forgiveness doesn’t mean that you forget, but you d release the power it had over you.
Bullying is something that is real and happens every day, and even though you can’t stop it from happening, you can learn how to deal with it so that it doesn’t affect you. You are only affected by the things you allow to affect you.