Be A Kind BullyPosted January 20th, 2012 At 5:59 pm By MTV ASIA
It disheartens me to hear individuals’ stories about being bullied in school. I’ve also heard the flip-side. People who have dished it out for many years. Insults, taunts, cliquish belittling and intimidation in all of its forms. It all boils down to a petty problem but sadly one with many real victims. There are those out there who feel that they have something to prove at someone else’s expense. However, there are far more people out there who believe in edifying the person standing next to them. People who believe that committing random acts of kindness is truly the best form of reality entertainment.
I’m not really sure how much has changed during the decade-plus that I’ve been out of school. My journey from kindergarten to university was truly a social roller-coaster for a misfit kid like me. At times I felt like the proud pigeon, strutting around doing what I wanted, where I wanted. And then there were other times when I really felt like the rusty statue, getting dumped on and not being able to do anything about it. I experienced both sides of the problem for many years. My story is not uncommon but I was able to take many lessons from the 20/20 hindsight.
There were many occasions in school that I can remember when I was less than friendly. I was a loudmouth kid at times who would rarely pass up talking opportunities. Even to my own friends, I could be very insulting and make cutting remarks. In my mind, I was just being funny and being me, but the reality of it was I was just being a fool. Maybe I was too young and stupid at the time to realize the implications of my behavior but it still doesn’t stand as a valid excuse. I was being a bully and I was being insensitive. My actions had consequences and hurt people’s feelings and in these situations, no one is a winner.
School anywhere will always be a proving ground. Bullies don’t need a reason to claim a victim. They will create one. Growing up in school was full of courage tests for me. Was I going to stand up to someone trying to put me down? Or was I going to stand up to them even if it meant receiving a humbling beating? I mean, kids will be kids and no one wants to be labeled a coward. I took a lot of pride as a youngster not taking guff from anyone, even if I was outsized. I took a few good whoppings from this guy in the 5th grade. He looked like he should have been in high school already and he would always single me out at the playground at recess. I knew I would always eat a few good punches but I would rather get what was coming than hide inside the school.
Perhaps I was a glutton for punishment but I always felt like I held my own even though I always took the worst of it. When you’re in the fight, you convince yourself that you’re doing a lot better than you really are! Me being the ever positive guy, I would think of each encounter as a test I would have to pass. This guy was helping to make a man out of me and I wasn’t going to let him break my spirit. It soon faded away and I ended up playing against the guy in high school American football. I beat him on a long pass play and we ended up winning the game. I suppose I could’ve taken the last laugh but I didn’t. The guy approached me after the game and apologized to me for the times back then. I didn’t harbor any negative feelings. As funny as it sounds, I suppose we both needed each other at that time.
Sadly, not every bully war story has a happy ending. Many students are seriously injured and a great deal of victims and their families often struggle with ongoing issues. A student can lose the ability to learn and feel unsafe in their own school. Bullying takes many forms but is never a solution to anything. It is easy to try to solve issues with violence and misguided rage but it takes understanding to take a step back and think what you can do to make something better.
It’s the simplest thing in the world to react in anger, especially if a wrong has been committed against you. We are all human. We all do it from time to time. Often times we unleash our emotions onto others without even realizing it. It’s not necessarily being a bully but it is unkind.
I am a firm believer in the concept that we call karma. The things you do have a way of coming back to you, if not now maybe later. The way you treat people can be infectious to everyone around you. If you bestow random acts of kindness upon people, others around you will want to do the same and follow suit. Bully others with kindness and be looked upon as the person who picks people up rather than the one who drags them down. Even the most basic kind gestures to others are uplifting and make our daily struggles tolerable.
Being the better person isn’t always easy so it’s a great test for anyone! These are lessons we all should already know so I challenge all of you including myself to go out and be cool to everyone for no reason. Be a good friend to someone even if they can’t do the same for you in return.
Happy Lunar New Year! 2012 is The Year to Be Nice!
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Catch “Bullied”, a creatively groundbreaking film, by Firecracker Films and MTV that explores the universal experiences of young people across the globe who have been victims of bullying. This powerful documentary will provide a real understanding of what it’s like living with the torment of being bullied.
“Bullied” premieres on 24 January 2012, 10.30pm (WIB), 11.30pm (SIN/HK/PH), 12.30pm (MAL) and replays at these times:
6.30pm (WIB), 7.30pm (SIN/HK/PH), 8.30pm (MAL)
10am (WIB), 11am (SIN/HK/PH), 12pm (MAL)
3pm (WIB), 4pm (SIN/HK/PH), 5pm (MAL)
And if you identify with the characters of this movie and want to find out more about cyber-bullying or current mainstream culture issues, visit MTV Voices.