October, 2015 was National Bullying Prevention Month. During this month, students were urged to Stand up, make friends outside their circles, become more aware of others differences and create a surrounding culture that stamps out bullying and promotes unification.
Bullying takes on many faces and attacks many populations
Bullying can be seen in:
- Athletes against nerds
- Cheerleaders against Emo
- Strong against weak
- Straight against gay
- Whites against black
And the list goes on. Kids Against Bullying is an organization that was created by PACER Center to bring information and awareness to this issue. Their mission to bring togetherness, acceptance and kindness is one with an important message we should all follow.
At the grade school level, students fight to find identity. This struggle leads to difficult life choices and paths. It is in this pressure driven culture that schools have created where bullying has become one of many pronounced effects.
As we grow, mature and evaluate our lives, the natural progression is toward awareness, acceptance and a new level of compassion. Unfortunately, as adults, the bullying issue is as impacting as it is with the younger generation. We just don’t seem to be acknowledging it.
Last evening, Steve Harvey made a mistake crowning the wrong Miss Universe contestant. I did not see the event, but the pulsating social media buzz came to my attention early this morning. Like so many of us, Steve Harvey made a mistake.
- A grammatical or erroneous message on the internet
- In the heat of passion, calling your lover the wrong name
- Releasing a product with a defect
- Playing the wrong first song at a wedding
- Sending a package to the wrong person
In Mr. Harvey’s case, it was witnessed by millions around the world. He was ridiculed and defended over the course of the next few hours. Was there harm? Yes, emotional, but one he apologized for over and over.
If you look closely at the wave of comments made on social media, not just last evening but everyday, you will see something very eye-opening: Bullying is all around, even in adults.
Donald Trump supporters and Trump himself are some of the most visible supporters of bullying with bumper stickers that say “Hillary Clinton for Prison” and comments demeaning other candidates and former political figures.
Anti-Obama supporters make blanket accusations and insults on a daily basis. Many are based on personal frustration; not fact. Ask Rush Limbaugh, he leads the brigade.
Are most of these comments made at public figures, yes, because that is the life path they chose, but once you peel the layers, you will see it is going on at all levels.
Awareness is nice and necessary, but it isn’t changing human behavior. We still have a tremendous amount of work and it will take many more generations to get it right. It is moments like this, I am glad I was raised right.