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The story that has dominated the news over the last several days has been the heinous and cowardly murders of moviegoers in Aurora, Colorado. My prayers go out to the victims: those killed, injured and their loved ones – it’s an unfortunate and unnecessary way to die.
Given the way the story has trended on news sites, the killer’s name and photo have been all over the place. More people are talking about him than the latest Hollywood scandal.That’s the problem with our news outlets: criminals tend to get famous quickly and the more heinous the crime, the more they are talked about. How’s that for incentive for a psychopath trying to get significance in this world?
Have you ever been in a situation where someone is unexpectedly rude to you? Of course you have. And you know that rotten feeling that you get when it happens. You did nothing to provoke it, so why you? Should you be rude back? Is it worth a conflict? Sometimes it’s tempting to lash out in return, but that’s not always a good idea.
A wise older friend once shared with me after such an incident that most of the time when someone blows up at you for seemingly no reason, it’s almost always someone else (including themselves) that they’re mad at. We all handle stress differently. While I do my best to never take out my anger on someone who isn’t responsible, I’d be lying to you if I said I’ve never done that. We all try our best, but sometimes the moment gets the best of us.
This past week I came across an article about a man in Florida getting on a school bus to confront some kids that were bullying his daughter. He threatened the kids saying that he would kill anyone who picked on his daughter again and this got him arrested. Interestingly, the article asked the question of whether the father was a bully and paints him as some sort of wacko. While one can certainly argue that this wasn’t the best way to handle the situation, the article shows no empathy towards the father or the girl. And that is part of the reason why bullying is an increasing problem in today’s society.
The article doesn’t say much about the bullying although upon further research, it was reported that the harassment was both verbal and physical. The father is criticized as bulling the kids because he’s someone that could carry out his threats of harming the kids. However, the fact that he said he’d only harm those that harass his daughter seemed to have slipped the reporter’s mind.
If you’ve even been in a public place (such as a restaurant, movie theater or mall) around teenagers and you’re older than twenty-five, you’ve probably noticed that they can get quite obnoxious. I was reminded of this over the weekend when I went out to see a movie that a couple dozen teens were also interested in – and it made me appreciate and see the value in the premium theater that doesn’t allow people under 21. While I was once an obnoxious teenager myself (and it wasn’t that long ago), I remember my peers and I having at least some respect for our elders, whether they were strangers or our parents.
I’ve had a number of people talk to me about bullying over the last few days. Many have asked for recommendations for materials such as books and films while others have asked for advice. Some are having problem as adults such as cyberstalking or bullying in the workplace, but unfortunately many are having issues where their child is being bullied.
When a child is continuously bullied it affects them for the rest of their lives. In most cases, they keep to themselves as adults, have low self-esteem and struggle in social situations. In some cases, it bubbles up resulting in violence – either against the tormentors, themselves or even unfortunate bystanders. Bullying is a serious problem and needs to addressed at the first sign of it.
Have you ever misspoken, only to have someone correct you right away? Are you thankful that the person cared enough to point out your error to everyone within earshot? Some people just can’t resist pointing out other people’s errors, regardless of who’s present and how minuscule the error is.
I once knew someone that would jump at the chance to correct everyone at every chance he could. From grammatical errors to pronunciation mistakes to misspellings in email messages, this guy couldn’t resist adding his two cents and showing everyone how smart he was and how dumb everyone else was. How did people like this person? They hated him.
Being bullied is one of the worst things that can happen to a human being. If you or someone close to you has ever been bullied, you know how unpleasant an experience it can be. It eats away at our self-esteem, our self image and can lead to depression and even violence in cases where victims are pushed over the edge.
Unfortunately, bullying isn’t only limited to the school yard. It’s has crept into college campuses and even into the corporate world. Adults who are bullied at work for prolonged periods keep to themselves, call in sick more often and find their relationships outside of work deteriorating. The proverbial downward spiral thus begins.
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