Posted by tomleveen at 6:26 pm
First, in the Good News column, it is April 2010, which means PARTY is headed to bookstore shelves everywhere in about three weeks. Then hopefully on to people’s bookshelves, but I digress. So lemme take one moment to type a quick WOO HOO! Good, done. Moving on.
Bullies. There’s been a lot of writing and talking about bullying, cyberbullying, and who ultimately is to blame for it all. And not much forward progress that I can see. So I’m going to do what I usually do, and that’s address one reader at a time by saying: F’ing stop it.
If you are a bully, stop it. If you’re being bullied…stop it. If you think you’re neither (and chances are you are one or the other, if not both, or have been at some point, as I know I have been), then take a quick look at First They Came… if you’re not familiar with it. I’ll wait.
Back? Good. By ignoring the bullied in your life around you, hate to say, you’re chalking a point in for the bullies’ side.
Bullies aren’t, by the way, restricted by age. Anyone who tells you that a bully will grow out of it…is probably an unrepentant or willfully ignorant bully themselves. Anyone who tells you it will go away after you graduate…clearly has never held a job of any kind, anywhere. Bullies know no age limit. Neither do victims. You can choose to be neither. And in fact you can choose to stand up on behalf of victims and help put a stop to it. Indeed, standing up and speaking up may be all the help that’s needed. Maybe your voice alone – and the will to use it – will be enough to save one victim from the brink.
Far as I’m concerned, bullying takes on many insidious forms. What are the homeless if not victims of a bullying culture which politely informs that they brought it all on themselves? What are hungry children the world over if not victims of thoughtless, indirect bullies who don’t even want to hear about them? By ignoring the marginalized in this country and others, we take one more step toward the day when our turn comes up, and we wonder why no one’s around to help. (And then they came for me.)
Sorry, rant off. It just ticks me off.
But seriously: Stop it. SAY WORDS!
See ya on the 27th. Bullies will be escorted rudely from the building.