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Archive for February, 2011

Today I was home with my youngest son. In my morning break, I watched the Ellen Degeneres Show. On the her show the topic of bullying came up again with the guest Jennifer Aniston. I’ve been thinking about bullies a lot lately. So these celebrities are doing a better job than the media. 😉
Jennifer told a story about how a tabloid writer had been mean to her before, and how Jennifer (in my opinion was classy) and approached the ‘bully’ or more appropriately confronted him in a non-aggressive way (I applauded Jennifer). This action on Anistons part, motivated Perez Hilton to reflect and put conscience into his career and not use the mean and angry hypocrisy and change to be part of the solution. This was thought-provoking and this has been a subject close to my heart.
DEFINITION of Bullying
– Intimidation of a weaker person. The process of intimidating, or mistreating somebody in a more vulnerable situation. Harassment, maltreatment, singling out, hounding, harrying and discrimination.

Something I learned to observe at a young age. As you all know I am American born and a cultured Puerto Rican descendant. But what no one knows is that I had great difficulty learning in school. Whether it was the attention deficit induced by a home of multiple languages, anxiety, trauma, or born with it. I don’t know. This was one of my insecurities. But…it doesn’t matter for this topic, what matters is that I saw the world differently because of it. I was very quiet and rarely smiled. I was so quiet, my mom doesn’t remember much of my childhood. I don’t know if my father remembers more because he was more time at home. Regardless, I was shy too, and he helped me the most. People scared me. I was afraid of what people would say. Because even the people closest to you can start these misperceptions at home. I remember my cousins, who were older than me, would say “come on…let me see you, play with me…” and then the next moment, maybe because they were hurt (another misperception/ misunderstanding ) probably started in their own homes or their playgrounds at school, they would turn on me and say something to the effect of “Well, you are ugly anyway” or “you are so anti-social!”.
Some of these words are not understood by a child! However, the emotion behind it is what the child feels and perceptually understands. Keep this in mind, infants are born to this world without sight and what they hear is a foreign language to them. They only understand feeling, and the emotions that people who HOLD them are experiencing. And I, as a child believed that there was something wrong with me,or that I was unliked by the people close to me.
My father, I have always known that he was special handicap made him special. He can sense emotions through some of body-language that he can see, but mostly through a persons tone of voice. And he showed me compassion the way no one else can show me. He taught me that by not speaking to whomever was talking to me that I could hurt their feelings. Today, this action of not speaking is called silent treatment. This can be considered a different way of bullying (peer-pressure), and it can be a form of defense. But it is far worse to mistreat a person, because we “feel like it”.
I have reflected, and I have considered what being human is. Did you know, time and again what is said being human is? Making mistakes. I have made my mistakes with bullying. I have not felt good about it. I was possibly in a bad mood and didn’t learn how to deal with it.
Example: I remember being in first or second grade. And there was this girl with short hair that she seemed very angry. And her friends were brief sometimes. And I tried being her friend and it was going well. And one day, I am hanging up my coat after recess, and she seemed so happy that we were getting closer and I said something mean to her, perhaps shut up, or something that everyone used when she was teased. I FELT TERRIBLE. And even then, I knew I could not undo the pain I caused her. I still don’t know why I did it.
DEFINITION of Compassion
Sympathy, empathy, concern, kindness, consideration and care. Do you know what is the Antonym? COLDNESS.

Isn’t that an awesome antonym to describe bullying? Bullying seems like it could be emotionless to the victim (Victim is another word I don’t like, but that is another blog).
REALLY?
Yes, the bully is actually a self-centered sad and angry person, in my opinion. Someone is not or has not treated them right. And they learned it. Then “misery loves company” so they surround themselves with the same type of person that wishes to be liked, or wishes to be part of something, and they may have even experienced being singled out, or even bullied. They are afraid. Whether it is, of being the victim of bullying, or not feeling like they belong somewhere in society.
Today, I know that even the oddest, strangest, angriest, meanest, bitchiest individual can teach us something. So, I make the extra effort to allow their different-ness. I show compassion, and treat them all like customers of life.
I want to tell the person being bullied to just ignore them. But no, do more than that, tell an adult. Trust that it will be sorted out. Take the silent treatment as a blessing in disguise, because when you grow up and become that somebody you want to be, the unkind won’t be around. If you are an adult, don’t be afraid to blow the whistle. Or let go and be thankful you don’t need that “clique”. because you got the job, the house, lifestyle, and the friends without them.

Last words
Isn’t it funny how the world has had life leaders show up in history to teach us and remind us how to be human? It doesn’t matter if it is Dali Lama, Mother Teresa, JFK, Martin Luther King Jr.; they spoke about love one another, and accept one another and be peaceful. Come to an agreement, even if it is to disagree peacefully, and share love, so that we can move on with our lives and focus on positive beautiful things. Soon you will find that it is second nature and things will come easy to you.

Ref: Encarta dictionary; American English. And Ellen Show.

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