It is somewhat overlooked in our day to day life, it seems — especially with all the pressing issues of grades, and the election and your Halloween costume choice on your mind. Yet, “it” continues to happen every day and has probably even happened to you.
The “it” that I am referring to is the act of bullying. Something which is not spoken about and isn’t openly and actively tried to end by enough people.
People overlook bullying like a woman voting for Romney overlooks his archaic views on women’s health.
The fact remains that bullying is a very serious life issue and it happens every single day in nearly every single school and workplace in the nation. That’s right –– nearly every single one.
It’s not just physical torment that people experience, as the term generally connotes, but in reality bullying can take many forms, such as cyber bullying and other forms of psychological menacing.
Now I am sure that nearly everyone has at some point been a victim of bullying, or they were the bullies. But the worst part is we just accept it as a part of growing up and expect our kids to go through the same thing; we are not working to change the system.
Personally, I was bullied because of my weight in elementary school, but quickly turned into a bully during that same time by picking up the kids that made fun of me and hanging them by their shirts from the fence.
This experience is just amusing to me now, and really makes no difference to me today, but some people are continually bullied throughout their lives and it has detrimental consequences on their psyche.
I have seen teachers that bully, by picking favorite students, or calling out the kids that don’t know the answer and making them feel stupid. Parents are sometimes even worse, bullying their kids into playing sports or about not dating someone or about their finances even after their kids are well into adulthood.
In short, many figures that should be there to help guide us and help us end up maliciously hurting the very people that they are responsible for — it has to stop.
It comes down to a simple question of what kind of a person do you want to be? Someone that looks for the next person they can put down, trying to make themselves appear better in the process? Or would you rather be someone that helps people up, gives them compliments and isn’t focused on bringing everyone else down just because they are having a bad day?
I think everyone can agree that life would be a lot more pleasant every day you woke up and took on the world if people just took the time to be nice and stopped tormenting others.
This isn’t some sort of philosophical debate, nor is it intended to mean that everyone has to be nice to each other all the time (and this isn’t some bleeding heart liberal thing either).
Instead, this is about people. People that have an inherent right to go about their day without some jerk who is compensating for his own shortcomings consistently trying to knock them down. If you see something like this going on, step up and speak up — usually a few simple words will do.
People need to know that continuing to degrade someone and point out their flaws and weaknesses and hurt them for no logical reason is just wrong.
One of the most absolutely brilliant people championing the anti-bullying movement is Brittany Snow. Brittany teamed up with MTV and began a movement called Love is Louder, a truly fantastic concept.
Basically the idea is that people do simple things like tweet “Love is louder than…” and try to raise awareness about the detrimental effects of bullying. This organization also encourages people to share their stories and talk about their experiences, which can be invaluable when dealing with bullying.
Everyone should really check this movement out, let’s finally promote being nice to each other.
It is time that we put an end to bullying in all the forms that it comes in. It is the right thing to do. Let’s leave the world in a state better than when we found it. Let’s try to leave the children of tomorrow a world free from bullying.
Res Stecker is a junior international studies major. His columns appear Thursdays in the Collegian. Letters and feedback can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.