Women, life, happiness
  • How do we end teenage bullying?

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    October 6th, 2010Keryl PesceFamily and Relationships, Life in general

    Although this blog is primarily for women, I feel compelled to address the heart-breaking behavior that is causing our children to take their own lives. This is not strictly a female issue. It is a human issue. And I can't stay silent.

    Before I share my thoughts, I must say that if you are a parent and your child is the victim of bullying, please don't take it lightly. Stay close to your child in every way, and if you have even an inkling they feel desperate, please seek out professional support.

    Now, for my two cents.

    To the teens (or people of any age for that matter) who are treated with disrespect, anger, prejudice, bitterness or hatred:

    Get a piece of paper and a magic marker. Write down the following words and tape it somewhere you will see it every day:

    "The actions of others reflect what they are about, not what I am about."

    Even though the behavior of another person may be directed toward you, understand that it reflects on them far more than it reflects on you. If you are told you are less worthy because of anything that they perceive makes you different, that means they feel inferior somehow. They are looking for a way to make themselves feel bigger or better.

    I can also tell you that people who are hurtful are hurting. They are unhappy and mistakenly believe hurting others will make them feel better.

    Does it make it right? No. I'm not condoning hurtful behavior of anyone. I'm trying to help you put a different frame around their actions – to see their behavior in a different light, so you can recognize it has zero connection to the quality of person you are.

    Here's what else I want you to know. At the exact moment you were conceived, odds were upwards of one in one-hundred-million you would be the exact person you became. Don't you think for one second you are anything but precisely who you were meant to be. So be exactly that. Love who you are first and the world around you will follow.

    The bullies may be getting the media's attention right now, but you need to know they are in the minority. Our world is full of loving and compassionate people. They are all around you. I promise you that. There are far more people who will accept you for who you are than those who won't. We just don't always get as much attention. Although that may change here shortly. Big ideas are brewing. Stay tuned.

    To the bullies:

    Your desire to inflict emotional or physical pain on someone else tells me you are not happy. Perhaps you feel left out, unimportant or as if someone or society has wronged you in some way. Maybe you were legitimately victimized. I don't know. But understand that when you inflict pain on others, all you do is attract more unhappiness and pain. Your actions, good or bad, have a boomerang effect. Think about it. If you have acted mean to others in the past, do you feel better today as a result?

    Let's peer into a crystal ball for a moment. Project your life forward a year, five years, even ten and twenty years out. Where will cruelty and lack of compassion lead you? Will it give you the kind of life you want for yourself? When your time here on earth is done, what do you want people – your parents, grandparents, children, friends, sisters, brothers, aunts, uncles and neighbors - to stand up and say about you?

    You want proof now? Look around you. Consider the well-known people who are highly successful in their happiness, their relationships, even financially. Did they get there by putting others down? By feeling like a victim and spreading negativity? Not even close. The most successful people are where they are because of what they do for other people – people like Oprah Winfrey, Ellen DeGeneres, your favorite music entertainers and comedians. People, money and opportunities are most attracted to those who look to lift the spirits and improve the lives of those around them. Kindness is magnetic.

    If you want the world around you to start treating you better, treat the world around you better. It is a simple law of nature.

    Should you ever doubt the value or right of someone who appears different than you to live happily and freely, understand something. Over the history of mankind, over 90 billion people have walked the face of this earth. No two have ever been exactly the same. What does that tell you? Each of us is supposed to be unique. That is by design. It is not something to fight or fear. It is something to accept and embrace.

    Today is a new day. You have the supreme power of choice to put yourself on a better path beginning right now. What new choices will you make?

    To the parents:

    Our children learn from us. If we want them to be more kind, open-minded and compassionate of all humans, we must do so ourselves. It starts by loving and accepting our children exactly as they are and not wishing they would be anything different. We must lead by example. Including how we respond to mean-spirited behavior of children and teens. While I can completely understand a parent's heartache and anger when his or her child is in pain, please know that our response as adults, if rooted in our own anger and hatred, will breed more of the same.

    We need to look behind the face of bitterness, and know that hiding underneath is a child crying out. Perhaps they are desperate to be accepted and loved. Maybe they have entered your life because they need you to guide them. Will you hate them back or will you be the one to take their hand and show them a better way?

    To everyone else:

    Ghandi said "Be the change you wish to see in the world." What better time than now for us to follow such wise advice? If we want the world around us to be a certain way, that is exactly how we need to live our own lives. There's the powerful voice of change. 

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1 responses to “How do we end teenage bullying?” RSS icon

  • This, to date, is the best blog I have read of yours. It addresses everyone, including the parent’s of the bullies, who need to be addressed. I have 2 kids of mine and this happens to be anti-bullying week in my daughter’s middle school. After spending 13 years being married to a bully, my children know exactly what a bully is and I can tell you they are kinder and gentler to other’s because of it. Way to get the word out Keryl. This was necessary and you hit the ball right out of the park.


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