These words are dedicated to everyone with a conscience. My thoughts, now on a piece of paper, are especially addressed to all those people who find consolation in seeing humiliation and sorrow to those who claim to be in charge, but in actuality are so self-interested and would not allow a single pockmark on their precious careers. The statements you are about to read are dedicated to those who refused to see the truth, and those who simply rebuffed the atrocious idea of letting justice prevail. You all know who you are and if my words have a lasting impression on you, leaving you with a changed mindset and compassion in your hearts, then I HAVE MADE A CHANGE.
What if you found out that 80 percent of today’s youth are more prone to committing suicide due to bullying? How would you feel if more than 16,000 students in the USA alone would rather stay home than go to school every morning because of crushing peer pressure and agonizing bullying? Would that change your view on how serious this social issue actually is? Would it pave the way for you to realize that bullying is NOT teasing? Or would you rather have a few more numbers to solidify what I’m trying to say?
Bullying is a social evil that seems to have gotten out of hand due to the lack (or reluctance, rather) of early identification. It is something that could easily be nipped in the bud, but sadly – we have given it space to thrive and take the innocent along with it. Bullying is the use of force, threat, or coercion to abuse, intimidate, or aggressively dominate others. This behavior is repetitive, habitual and permanently scarring. Even though the perpetrators may look at it from a perspective of fun and humor, the victim is traumatized and isolated.
There are many categories of bullying and each of them is cruel in essence, but the most vicious out of them all would be verbal oppression. Insulting someone simply because of their appearance or because of a specific physical attribute, name-calling, taunting or teasing can do enough damage to last a lifetime. In addition to that, isolating someone, spreading rumors about that person or even coercing others to refrain from communicating with that specific person refuses to restore my faith in humanity. Physical bullying in the form of assault is equally degrading on the part of the bully and it is something that must be stopped immediately. However, I believe that the cruel words used with the unsympathetic looks of condescension and completely segregating the victim from the rest of the world is just unforgivable.
To add to all of this, we now have to deal with yet another form of this social menace; cyber bullying. Cyber bullying takes place on the World Wide Web, with haters (as they are now known) verbally bashing various movements, various people for either an achievement or a publicly discovered flaw. The irony behind cyber bullying is that the tormenter chooses to carry out his unbecoming behavior from behind a computer screen! Instead of gathering up the courage to offer some constructive criticism regardless of the issue at hand, they choose to attack with the computer screen as their shield.
Humans pride themselves on being the most intelligent, superior species on the face of planet Earth. However, what saddens me is the fact that we can’t seem to showcase our intelligence and our opinion without suppressing the downtrodden, or those who appear to be weak. Well, let me tell you a little secret. The person who has the last laugh is NOT the bully. It is the little boy who despite years of loneliness, ill-luck and suffering stands up to his oppressor and triumphs in the end. It is the teenage girl who fell into the depths of despair, who contemplated suicide but realized her strengths and made that decision to succeed in life. It is the middle aged man who was once taunted and teased by his colleagues simply because he was the oldest in his department, who went on to excel in his career and made headlines with his vibrant, innovative mind.
It is every single person who conquered the arrogant, domineering, lurking personality that ALMOST stopped them from being the best they could be. The bully is but a tortured soul who resorted to channel their anger on to someone who seemed weaker than them. This does not make them larger than life in anyway. In my opinion, bullies are a group of people who choose to see weakness and take advantage of that. And that, dear readers, is what makes THEM the frailest of all.
If we could only look at bullying from the perspective of the oppressed, would we realize the sheer gravity of it. However, I urge you all – do not wait until the victimization has reached its peak. You might just be too late. Do not leave room for regret. Act now, and inculcate strength and self-worth within the victim. Show them that they are strong, shower kindness upon them and give them unconditional love. It is the least they deserve. Give them time and let them discover their strengths and teach them that the flaws they possess should never be a reason to give up. Be their guide and they will heal.
You have proved yourselves beyond explanation, and don’t ever let the situations you were in, define you. To everyone who lived through this trying period and emerged victorious as survivors, I salute you. In the end, when you look back on all those dark days and see yourself now , living life to the fullest, that little voice in your head with the greatest sense of pride and joy will say, ‘YOU MADE IT.’
“Promise me you’ll always remember: You’re braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.”
To the strongest little girl and the most inspiring young man I have ever known, thank you for showing me the true meaning of courage, and for being two exemplary human beings. This one is for you.