There is a ton of information out there about bullying these days, particularly pertaining to kids. Listed straight away below** are some fantastic resources for you to check out in the unlikely event you haven’t heard all about this great and phenomenal stuff happening. Thanks and much gratitude goes out to all the unwavering promotional help of one of my favorite humans ever ever ever, Ellen DeGeneres. LOVE ELLEN!
Dance on, Ellen! And Madonna too. And…………………… lots of good folk.
(**I am certain there is a better way to post links but I couldn't get it to show up with the above "insert link" feature.... so I gave up.)
Anyway, I’ve been thinking a lot about bullying and just how disgusting and absolutely unacceptable the whole travesty is. You know, let’s start with the most basic of basics. Is what someone is saying to another person “funny ha ha” for BOTH people or instead, is the teeter totter clearly bottomed out on one side? This is a really important place to start, I believe yes it is.
So, we know, bullying in its worst face forward is aggressive and very intentional physical or psychological abuse towards another person. We know there is a clear imbalance of power and someone is clearly positioning themselves as dominant. We also know that a plethora of bullying is passive aggressive, calculative, and indirect. Social bullying can easily destroy people, and most often, the bullies get away with it. Overall, if we look at statistics, we know that around and about 30% of our youth (almost 6 million kids) in our country have engaged in bullying as either the target or the aggressor or both. Obviously, more people report being bullied than report being actual bullies. But, we all get the point. It is wrong, and it is up to us ADULTS to cut-it-out (please again see the above resources and kudos to Ellen).
You may now be asking, “Why in the bajeezus are you talking about bulling?” Well, I will tell you. Two reasons. Number 1 ~ I don’t like what is happening with our youth, and we have been discussing it endlessly in the mental health world, specifically in relation to sexual orientation and acceptance. Number 2 ~ It has become painfully evident to me personally in the past few months that adults bully with the best of the best, and this sucks.
Adults get more savvy as they “mature.” Adults use primarily verbal bullying tactics while they strive to establish power and dominance to “show who’s in charge.” They don’t like to take “no” for an answer, and they will try very hard to squelch anything resembling no. An adult bully has many ugly characteristics, including sheer narcissism. Others are the emotionally out of control bully with no rhyme or reason to when they strike out a victim, but there is little stress afterwards either (or striving to change). Others use physical intimidation instead of actual physical gestures. They loom. They take whatever they want using intimidation. Of course, we know “sticks and stone will break my bones, but words will never hurt me” really isn’t true at all. The wordy bullies use their language through rumors, blatant humiliation and direct name calling and slurs towards another person. Then, of course, we cannot leave out the bully follower who joins in to protect him or herself. Understandable I suppose, but very yucko, people.
I will come back to why I’m talking about this. I have learned a lot about myself in my adult life. I am certain I have engaged in bullying behavior in my lifetime, and I have had and continue to have serious conversations with myself about being sorrowful and humble to make ongoing intentional changes. I realize now, that particularly as a teen, I followed more than I should have, and I instigated more than I should ever admit (especially in writing… YIKES!). As an adult, I have not only vowed to change my outlook on life to be drawn towards the Positive Polly Pool, but I continue to vow and work towards being that person who says something, sticks up for myself or someone else, and by all means for the good of the balanced soul, I will not push anyone else around or make someone’s life a living Haiti Hell. I will speak up if I’m a random bystander and I see something going down, and I will put that in writing if I have to file a report in a public place (such as Hy-Vee last month when I saw/heard the vendor guy make an obscene racial slur about an employee). I guess, too, I am also thinking a lot about bullying because lately I’ve seen this happening more with people who I really love and care about in my personal life, and I have also felt the effects of this blatant refusal to take no for an answer to thing. I would (as Patresa so eloquently phrased it to me once, nothing related to bullying but still relevant in my mind) would “cut a bitch” towards anyone who hurts someone I love. ****Interpretation of “cut a bitch” means I will turn into a wild (zoo) tiger and protect my young (and peers and elders) in nonviolent but very cutting, mindful and deliberate ways****
To add to the subject more, and to quote Madonna (which I admit I did have to look up this exact quote knowing she’d spoken out on Ellen’s show about the topic), “If you want to talk about solutions or how we can solve this problem, try to get through the day, each and every one of us without gossiping about somebody. And not only that. Not even listening to gossip. Walking away from it. Can you imagine what your day would be like? How much more free time you’d have? I also feel like you’d feel better about yourself.” I would just like to congratulate Madonna on saying something profound and incidentally prolific, and doing so without sporting a pointy exposed bra. Nice going, Madonna.
That is all I have for today about my irritation and unacceptance of bullying. Thank you for reading the Tanya Hadley Soapbox Opinion Blog.
Did I mention I will jump out of that airplane before my birthday (mid-May)? It will cost me around $200, and I will be there around two hours for “training.” My jumping will end with me being documented visually and audibly. Maybe when I do this, I will proclaim “BULLIES, BEWARE. SUCKERS!!” And then I may do a double herkie in the air (which will be tricky since I will be attached to another human body).
In celebration to the goals of all the COFFEE-mates and all the wonderful mates out and about along our journey and inside our worlds, I will end with the wise words from The Daffodil Principle. Learning to move toward our goals and desires one step at a time ~ often just one baby step at a time ~ and learning to love the doing, learning to use the accumulation of time. When we multiply tiny pieces of time with small increments of effort, we too will find we can accomplish magnificent things. We can change the world…
Peace out mates.