There has been so much in the news about school kids getting bullied that it has almost become a cliche topic. Which is one of the reasons I don’t like to use the word bully it reminds me of a day and time when someone would ask me for my lunch money and if I refused then he would hit me until I said ok. Unfortunately today there is much more at stake then a dollar twenty five.
There have been thousands and thousands of students that have been affected by this issue but they aren’t the only ones because the families and friends of those students who have had enough still feel their pain. 185,000 students everyday refuse to go to school because they are scared, even as I write this the statistic is growing. That’s why I prefer to use the word Harassment when talking about this epidemic that just seems to be getting worse in our country.
Technology hasn’t helped the issue of harassment because now students don’t have to say hurtful things to someone else’s face they can simply send a text or write a comment on their facebook profile which can cut deeper than any physical pain. I always heard the old adage growing up “sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me” and I have to be honest I completely disagree. I would rather someone throw sticks and stones at my face then to say hurtful things to me. My face will heal, however emotional wounds take much longer to deal with. The reason is because I know myself and I don’t just let those names or mean things go I let them sink in and then I think about them and dwell on them and allow them to influence how I feel about myself. This is where the Bullies have power because they know they can control and manipulate another persons feelings with what they say and how they act.
The saying continues to ring true, “Hurt People, hurt people” which is why there has to be a better solution then simply bullying the bullies. That doesn’t help we have to instead find out why things are happening, deal with the root issues which might take some talking and discussion and some mediation but aren’t our children worth that? I believe so! What I love teaching at schools, camps, and conferences around the world is that the best way to defeat any type of harassment is to teach SELF CONFIDENCE!
If we can make this part of our every day discussions with students and people then we will be astonished at the results we see. Confidence teaches what we are capable of and what we deserve which is DIGNITY. Every single person on the planet deserves dignity and helping people young and old discover that is what helps me get up each morning.