Sticks and Stones by Heidi Hirsch
Sticks and Stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.
Like hell they won’t.
Many of you will be returning to school in the next few weeks. While on summer vacation, the epidemic of bullying has risen to an all time high and taken residency in the highest office in the United States. While the First Lady has vowed to take on the battle against bullying, she has yet to issue a statement concerning her approach or demonstrated her solution starting with home base.
Unfortunately the educational system is a breeding ground for this type of behavior and, in the past, has had a weak backbone when dealing with this ever-increasing sport. There are experts that have offered many solutions to combating Bullies. The problem is that there isn’t a standard format to “Bullying.” According to www.stopbullying.gov , it is important to properly label the children involved in the bullying situation. Instead of calling a child a “bully,” refer to them as “the child who bullied.” Instead of calling a child a “victim,” refer to them as “the child who was bullied.”
You have got to be kidding me. I have my own definition of a bully and sadly it’s inappropriate to define it here.
We all have to deal with these creatures. Not just in school but in our everyday lives
Most of us have had years of experience and practice in dealing with the insecurity of others that appears to be the root of most bullying. We have developed the appearance of a thick skin yet continue to feel the sting every time.
While most of the attention is focused on the bullied, the issue is very much two sided.
At some point in time, we have all been a bully. Bullying is defined as unwanted, aggressive behavior that involves a real or perceived power imbalance. You might not realize it nor was it intentional, but it probably happened. You see, as aggressive as the bully is to you, you can be just as aggressive in your response.
Quite frankly, when I have been bullied, I don’t give a damn whether my response is unwanted aggressive behavior. I will attack back.
I recently experienced a bully situation and when I fired back, the recipient of my wrath was stunned at my response. Her face looked like a re-make of Gloria Swanson coming in for a close up.
Like any of the self-help books, everybody has an answer that seemed to work for them. There is no single answer on how to overcome bullying. Therefore, each one of us must find our own way to stand up to the bullies.
What we do know is that bullies are only as active as their support base is encouraging. Meaning the less we encourage and support them, the less fuel they have to continue. Bullies are only as powerful as their audience. The good news is there is an increased popularity of anti-bully campaigns and the participation in bullying has finally shifted from cool to uncool.
There are organizations that address this epidemic. Schools have stepped up and have taken a hard fast rule against bullying. You do not have to suffer alone. Report this behavior. No, it isn’t easy, but there is support out there. I have listed a few organizations below.
Bullying is NOT EVER ok.
Bullied and Proud
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-8255
As an amateur observer of the human race, Heidi is a self-appointed documentarian life’s little quirks and how to stumble through them with humor.
Maintaining that belief has brought her to that golden age of early-bird specials, senior discounts, and the VIP-AARP card.
When she isn’t acting as the arbiter of lesbian fashion, Heidi is a
professional in the themed entertainment industry. As a Project Manager, her projects include the recently opened Motiongate & Bollywood theme parks in Dubai. Currently she is working on a new theme park in an undisclosed location in the Middle East.
Always on the lookout for new adventures, Heidi enjoys building Free Libraries and is currently co-developing an on-line directory for the themed entertainment industry.