To everyone who takes the time to read my blog and has come here again looking for a funny graphic or a picture of my latest baking attempt, I’m sorry. Today I have something to say and it’s not funny.
I try to keep this blog light. I’m trying to cry less and laugh more and I’m hoping that by venting in this way I’m helping you to laugh too. I try to stay away from controversial topics like religion or politics. I have my opinions, of course, but I’ve decided not to express them here.
Here is my exception:
Every single person I know falls into the category of “minority” in one way or another. That means that at any given time, on someone else's whim, any one of us could fall prey to verbal or physical abuse. What I’m addressing is bullying and don’t fool yourself, we are all at risk. Each and every one us, our kids, our parents, siblings, spouses, we all potentially have a target on our backs. Bullying is the current politically correct hot topic and well it should be. I want to come at it from a different angle, though, and I hope you’ll find my perspective worth considering.
I curse. I wish I didn’t but I do. If I drop a carton of eggs on the floor, chances are an “f-bomb” is following it down to the floor. I’ve raised my kids not to swear, even trying the absurd “just ‘cause I do it doesn’t make it right” argument. My boys are young adults and I get angry when I hear them curse, but who am I kidding. I shouldn’t be surprised when they do what I do instead of what I say. It’s my own fault and I need to own it.
Kim Kardashian was flour-bombed at a public function. Supposedly the flour was publicly thrown at her to object to Kim’s willingness to wear fur. Peta claimed no responsibility but issued a statement applauding the woman who did it. Whatever your opinion is of any individual or their actions, assault is not the answer. Anyone who thinks that the best way to object to cruelty towards animals is to perpetrate or even applaud cruelty towards people really needs to do a little more thinking. This is bullying, folks. This is adults bullying other adults. Or applauding it. And guess who’s watching. Our kids.
The absolute worst example we can set is when we allow adults to bully kids. High School is an awkward time between childhood and adulthood when kids are trying to get comfortable in their own skin. Amid bouts of insecurity they are trying to grow and change and mature. It’s not an easy transition.
About a year ago there was a commotion going on outside the High School up the street. There are gay students at the school of course, and members of a group known for this sort of thing were carrying derogatory signs aimed at gay students. I know we have freedom of speech in this country and I know that the protesters had to stay a certain number of feet away, but they were right there on the sidewalk. Ultimately they were directly in front of the place where young adults are REQUIRED to go and where we as their parents assure them they will be safe. What were the protesters doing there? Bullying kids, plain and simple. Understand, this isn't about whatever you or I believe concerning gay rights. It's about whether you believe that adults should be bully High School students. As a parent I can do nothing about it. I’m left with trying to explain to my kids why these people, many not even members of this community, can come here and harass students at their school.
If children are more apt to follow our example than our words, what are we as grown adults doing? If we seriously want to make an impact on bullying, then adults need to stop publicly bullying other adults and most importantly stop bullying children. Do we want to discuss this issue, or do we want to make a difference? The simplest way to effect change is to take a good hard look through the eyes of the most impressionable. If WE change what they SEE, maybe THEY’LL change what they DO.