For a child who is a victim of being bullied, life can be a living hell. Day after day a bullied boy or girl can look forward to being ridiculed, bumped into, laughed at, tripped, and be made to endure many other very personal and insulting degradations. Perhaps you aren’t involved in either the act of bullying someone or being bullied. Maybe you are only a witness to someone being bullied and you just stand there, doing and saying nothing, and eventually even walking away from the incident.
You may think that ignoring the issue takes any personal accountability on your part off of your shoulders. If this is what you believe, you couldn’t be more wrong. When a single child is left alone to deal with a bully, that bully knows that he has the upper hand and he will continue on for as long as he likes without any fear of interruptions. In fact he has probably been bullying many kids for several years already.
I’d like to introduce you to a quick quide to rope making for a moment. Bear with me; I think you’ll see the point I’m trying to make. If you wanted to make a rope and simply picked up one strand or fiber, your rope would not be very strong at all. If you used two strands, it would be stronger, but still not as strong as it should be. It is by twisting, or braiding 3 strands together that will make the rope 3 times as strong as the single strand.
Now, let’s apply this lesson to the child being bullied. If one person happened to witness this incident of bullying, and instead of walking away or just watching, quickly stepped in and interrupted what was going on, the bully would be startled for a moment, stopping long enough to assess the situation, and then continue on with his bullying. If two people witnessed the incident and the two of them together walked up to the scene and said something to the bully, chances are pretty good the bully would be just awkward enough that he/she would stop and walk away. Now, have you stopped that bully from ever bullying anyone again? The answer is most likely, no.
But now, let’s say that three people suddenly noticed a child being picked on and these three people banded together and walked over to the scene and demanded that the bully stop what he/she was doing and then went on to tell the principal or teacher what had happened. With each addition of another person, (just like each addition of that strand of rope) the bully is going to feel more and more out numbered and if the same intervention continued to happen each time he or she was seen bullying someone, I guarantee that it wouldn’t be long before the bully would move on. Just like the rope which is three times stronger when braided with three strands together, so too are people who band together to help other people out. Alone, it is hard to accomplish much. But by adding several more people who are willing to stand up together against the bully, the band of people is now three times stronger than when there was only one person and the result will be much more dramatic.
Yes, it is hard to speak up and take a stand against what is wrong. Why do you think the bullies of the world are still being bullies? It is because so far no one has been strong enough to take a stand against him or her. Just think what it would be like for the child being bullied to have several people suddenly come over and take his side against the bully!
I am sure everyone is aware of the emotional damage that happens to any child who has endured being the victim of bullying for perhaps years at school. Will you be willing to stand up, gather a few friends together, and the next time you encounter a child being bullied actually do something to help? Think about how you might feel if the bullying was happening to you. Wouldn’t you want someone to be on your side? Here’s how you can make a difference:
•Stand up for the victim- enough people together would shock and embarrass the bully so much that they would leave their victim alone
•Don’t join in on bullying.
•Don’t help spread rumors. Let them stop with you.
•Tell an adult- even if you are uncomfortable and feel like you shouldn’t be “telling” on someone, it is very important that an adult know what is going on in order that they can help put an end to it.
•Offer help- encourage the person who was being bullied to talk to an adult and stick up for herself.
It is hard to stand up to a person who is a bully, but it is time for students to be strong and take back their schools and friends. Bullying can make everyone in the school feel unsafe. If you stand up against a bully today, it will be easier the next time. Talk to your friends about this. A group of kids who are willing to protect those who are the victims of bullying will ultimately succeed and will not only make the victims feel good, but they will feel good about themselves as well. Just do it. Do it for the kid who has been made to believe he is no good and walks through hell everyday at school. Do it for the kid who may be contemplating suicide due to depression directly resulting from the constant bullying. Do it for yourself. You never know what difference you may be making in that bullied child’s life. Yes, sometimes it could be a matter of life, or death.