I recently came across a tweet on my timeline that led me to the story of Amanda Todd. And, what a horrible story it was. One that completely frustrated me, and, more than anything left me astounded and disappointed in all of us. It’s clear that we just don’t get it. We don’t. And, I use the word “we” because, I really do believe we all have a part in this one way or another, as both victims of bullying, and being the bully. I am sure we have been told some place or another “We’re all in this one together” Cause, we are. If we want anything to change for the better. We need to buy in. We need to buy into “good”. Buy into being good people. And, having read this Amanda Todd story about this high school teen who was continually harassed by her peers both verbally and physically, and pushed her to ultimately taking her own life. I am left to believe that we haven’t bought in, and we are not prepared to go into this battle together. At all.
High school is one of the weirdest, most difficult stage of our lives, I think. There are so many different cliques around, the jocks, the skids, the preps, the farmers, the scensters… I could go on and on. Throughout high school, most peoples biggest concern is fitting in. Not there grades, not there family, not there extra-curricular activity. It’s fitting in. Being noticed by that person, that clique. This is the problem, we are so consumed by the opinions and impressions of our peers that we end up backing ourselves into a corner, and, the result is unfortunately people like Amanda Todd. Its high school, people are going to like you, they aren’t. Hell, you’ll probably have a new best friend each and every grade you start and pass. When you’re 16 and so consumed about what your classmates think of you, and fitting in. Its impossible to find that necessary time for focusing on yourself. You can’t see next month, you can’t see next year. You can’t even imagine life after high school. So how the hell do you expect to survive the damn thing! This isn’t it.
The beauty about high school, though, is its temporary. A very small fraction of your life, hopefully only 3 years of hopefully decades more. These 3 years should not have the power shape us as individuals, they should not detain us from dreaming, and certainly should not detain us from trying to achieve our dreams. But, since we are so young, vulnerable and naive in high school. These 3 years does shape our lives, they do retain us from our dreams, and becoming who we want and dream to become. And we do this to each other. Bullying.
I don’t get it. I never have really quite understood it. Don’t get me wrong, I will not sit here and say I have never picked on someone in my life. Because, that would be a blatant lie. I think we could all say that we have probably been there, and I think this is a real problem, and something I am certainly not proud of. But, I will say that it was fairly limited, and I certainly knew where the yellow light was. Fortunately, because who knew what kind of damage I was causing. At the time, not me. And, if any of those kids are reading this, I am extremely apologetic and wish all the best. Continuing though, on the flip side, I have been a victim all the same, and have taken some wicked sucker punches in the gym locker room as a result, and countless other phone calls and threats at 4 am. Unfortunately, we have all been there.
Now having gone through high school, and enjoying some of the best and worst times of my life. I would not wish it upon my worst enemy to pull a Billy Madison and go back. Unless Veronica Vaughan joins me! Haha. No, still no thanks.
It’s a vicious place. People are nasty. And high school is a feeding pit for these people. But, I don’t understand why people go to these depths to bully someone, someone who is just like them. A young, impressionable high school student. Who probably, goes home and has the same issues to deal with. So why do we pick on these people to the point where they are in tears, and even though, we may not know, trying to commit suicide. Instead of working together, and getting through those 3 years. Why do we do our best to try and eliminate our peers. Bullying does absolutely no one any good. As the person bullying, you don’t feel any better, you may feel like a big hero belittling someone in front of your friends while they laugh. But, the second they leave, you probably feel like a zero. And they do too. But, this comes back to being young, and impressionable. If our friends laugh, we will likely continue on our ways. And shameful some people’s ways have become harassing someone into there very own grave.
These people who have picked on Amanda Todd, and people who have done this elsewhere, because I am sure Amanda isn’t the high school student to commit suicide, and she likely won’t be the last. But, these very same people likely have as much or more problems than the rest of us, and need our help too. These people need us to stand up to them. And, I really hope that each and everyone of them enjoy a sleepless night of sleep tonight, because, yes. I do blame you. Fortunately, although in my mind you have committed a real crime, although no one above me legally see’s it that way. It isn’t too late. It’s time to grow a fucking pair of balls and be a real man, or woman. Be a good person, turn the dial. It’s way harder to be a good person, and a leader than it is to follow the norms of a bully, and you have all of your years ahead of you.
Be that person who stands up in the hallways, the streets, the rink, work or wherever, be that person to stand up to bullying. It is way harder to do that then it is to “join the fun” Because, you never know. You could be saving someone’s lives. Had someone in the group of classless hero’s simply said hey, look, that’s enough, or apologized to her, or even just talked to her! Or, even a passer-by put and end to it. Maybe Amanda Todd is gone to bed for another day of school in the AM, and I am not ear high in anger writing this blog. Maybe. Maybe that’s all it would take. Now, hindsight, I bet it would have been easier for one of those kids to just put an end to it versus the guilt and shame I hope he/she feels the rest of there life.
So, long story short. Why can’t we be good people. Try a little harder and be that person that stops this bullshit in the hallways, the rink, wherever else. I know that being in high school, you may suffer from a little tunnel vision, and its impossible to see 3 years out of the gate, and its difficult to imagine, and comprehend. I Understand that, but just know that;
good people become professional athletes
good people become top of there university class
good people become CEO’s of companies
good people have families
good people are successful, and happy with there lives
Good people are role models.
These hero’s at school that harass others, those are the ones that live in mom’s basement till there… Who knows how old. There the ones that live with more insecurities than you can count, and end up trying to live vicariously through those whom are good. It shouldn’t ever have to be like this, cause we could use more professional athletes, CEO’s, role models than we can basement dwellers…
RIP Amanda Todd & everyone else who has lost there lives to senseless bullying.
To the bullies; Good for you, feel good.