Good day to you friends! I hope everyone is well and feeling spry today. Today we will be conversing about a rather serious subject. A subject near and slightly painful to me; yet rewarding (will explain in a later post). Today we are talking about bullying. Well, let’s start by examining what is defined as “Bullying” or “A Bully”. Merriam-Webster defines a Bully as “a blustering brow-beaten person; especially : one habitually cruel to others who are weaker.” In my opinion, that’s a pretty good general statement as to a bully. How you specifically define a bully you might know is entirely up to you.
Bullying has been rampant in the news lately over the last 5 years or so. Stories of kids doing drastic things to each other. Torturing one another to the point where one feels worthless. Sometimes even taken to the point where the victim feels the need to take their own life because they can’t handle the pressure of being tormented anymore. This is one of the saddest things I have ever heard and when I hear about it, it tugs at my heart strings. Never should a life so young ever feel the need to end it all over the actions of another.
I am now 29 years old, my definition of what bullying use to be may be far different than it is now. I grew up getting poked fun of because of my weight. Cruel things were said like “Man boobs” or “bubble butt”. I even remember a kid in Jr. High named JC, who he himself was a big kid like I was, took it another direction. Because he was big, he would throw his weight around and act all big and bad and would just in general, torment me every day. To be honest, it wasn’t until High School that people really started to mellow out. In High School a lot of people got along really well with each other and any fights or bullying that happened were usually personal quarrels between two individuals who just hated each other. I also started to fill out in High School and was probably twice as strong as I use to be when I was in Jr. High so I don’t think anybody really ever wanted to mess with me. I also believe I had the mental stability to know what I could handle and how to deal with these scenarios. Some kids may just not know how to handle certain situations.
Bullying is so general that it can bleed into almost any scenario. There was a great episode of The Big Bang Theory called “The Justice League Recombination” (Season 4, Episode 11) where Penny’s current boyfriend Zack is clearly not the brightest crayon in the box. Well the boys take it upon themselves to poke fun at Zack and mock his intelligence in a repeated fashion. Now, mind you, this episode turned out all well and good as they recruited Zack, after apologizing to him, to become the Superman of their Justice League costume contest for New Years at their favorite comic book store. This episode is great, because it goes to show you that not all bullying is noogies, wedgies, locker stuffings, and name calling (a la Revenge of the Nerds). Zack did nothing to deserve the unwanted attention, much like a weaker kid may have done nothing to get the traditional swirly.
Bullying also now has a further reach than it use to through the internet. Internet trolls and direct bullying through all the poplar social media sites is all the rage. It offers anonymity to general public to ridicule anyone they feel like picking on. It may not seem like a big deal to be picked on by a stranger online, but sometimes the pen is mightier than the sword. I’ve seen a good friend and online personality Mike “The Birdman” Dodd be ridiculed to the point of almost quitting doing on-camera appearances because trolls decided to go after his appearance. Luckily for him, he has an amazing fan base of people who know and love him better than some troll online, which helped raised his spirits. However little Jane and John Doe may not have that kind of support. And because this is all happening online, it can possibly go under the radar of parents and friends and just eat away at the victim for months with no one knowing. Cyber-bullying gives it all a whole new dimension.
Right now the WWE is running a continuous campaign called the Be A Star Alliance. It enforces the idea to kids everywhere to be tolerant of everyone’s age, race, gender, religious beliefs, or sexual orientation and end bullying everywhere. This is a great campaign the WWE is running and deserves a solid look. The only word I don’t like is “tolerance”. I prefer the word “acceptance”. You can still not like something and tolerate it. There’s still an air of resistance in the word I don’t like. Like smoking. You can tolerate cigarette smoke near you, but it doesn’t mean you like it. To accept something feels like it’s more caring and understanding towards an individual. When it comes to a person’s traits and beliefs, that’s acceptance. As to the character and actions, that’s tolerance. Other than that, I believe the Be A Star Alliance provides many great tools for teachers and parents to rally against bullying in their own neighborhood and schools.
All in all, bullying is just wrong. There’s no reason to do it. To force your will and power over someone in a negative manner because you think they’re weaker than you, is just plain wrong. (The word “Nazi” comes to mind) The percussions of your actions will come to bite you in the butt, I promise. If you are the victim of bullying, I urge you to seek council. Your parents, a teacher, a counselor, a mentor, even a close dear friend. You do not deserve to have to “tolerate” (see what I did there?) with someone who makes your life a living hell day in and day out. Just please, I beg of you, do NOT do anything drastic. Do not lash out or turn on yourself. You deserve better and there are always ways to overcome any obstacle. You are loved, never think otherwise. On that note, I leave you with your thoughts and hope that in some way this article has helped you. I wish you all the best and in the immortal words of Bill S. Preston, Esq. and Ted Theodore Logan, “Be Excellent to each Other.”
-Dustin “Dustimus_Prime” VanCour-
PS – Here I am also announcing a project that I have and will be working on. I will be reaching out to popular websites and internet personalities in an effort to create a unified voice against bullying via video that I will distribute as widely as possible in an effort to let others know they are not alone and that there is help out there.