Everyone, at one point or another, has been a victim or spectator of bullying. Bullying is an emotional or physical aggression that singles out an individual. Most people can remember being harassed in elementary or middle school. For many victims, the only thing that gets them through the day is the thought that teasing, or bullying, will one day no longer be problem.
Victims are waiting for the day of maturity growth and acceptance. The day people can be critical thinkers. They wait for the day bullies can be sensitive and attempt to see things from another perspective. Unfortunately, and obviously, these hopes are achieved sparingly.
Entering into high school and college, students are constantly exposed to bullying. Even in the professional light, there are still people who passively bully others. The big question is, if bullying is never going diminish from modern culture, what can we at least do to prevent or control it?
In life, sometimes the simplest things can be the most effective. I feel that this rule applies to controlling harassment. Simply creating awareness of the negative affects of harassment can open eyes.
For instance, people need to be aware of how many deaths happen to young teens because of bullying. In some cases, the victims of bullying won’t take their own life, but take the lives of others in retaliation of their harassment. “Revenge is the strongest motivation for school shootings,” said Bullying Stats from www.pascack.k12.nj.us, “87% said that shootings are motivated by a desire to get back at those who have hurt them.”
Not only can bullying negatively affect a person physically, but emotionally and psychologically as well. A victim of bullying, Nahal Heidari, 19, civil engineering said, “It was very depressing. I cried everyday. Middle school was a very hard time for me. It still is.”
You can’t always change other people or sway their opinions. Sometimes people persistently tend to be aggressive towards others. But you, as an individual, can make a difference because of your own actions.
Anyone can make a difference in the world by having positive actions towards other people. Treat people respectfully and kindly. I’m a firm believer in the code of Rachel Joy Scott. For those of you that don’t know who she is, she is the first victim that was shot in the Columbine High School shooting. After Rachel’s death, her father found her diary where she wrote about how she believed that lives could be changed and saved by simple acts of kindness. She also wrote an essay in school called, “My Ethics, My Code of Life.” According to her essay, Rachel said, ” My codes may seem like a fantasy that may never be reached, but test them for yourself, and see what kind of effect they have in the lives of people around you. You just may start a chain reaction.”
Now, Rachel’s father and brother go around the county and inform students on the horrible outcomes of school bullying and the simple things you can do to make a difference.
I watched the moving speech, Rachel’ Challenge, last spring at Saddleback College. It really influenced me to proactively treat people with kindness. You can check out more information on Rachel’s challenge and beliefs at www.rachelschallenge.org.
There has been a lot of media attention of deaths due to bullying. We could all make a difference today. Treat people respectively, and if you’re witnessing bullying happen, voice out that it’s not appropriate. You can save a life, save your own, and make a difference.