The Bully Factor
I was bullied, tormented and sometimes physically beaten by bullies through my elementary, junior high and early high school years. It tore into my happiness, my self worth and my ability to believe in myself. And to some extent, it still does.
I never attempted suicide, thankfully. And although I never cut myself (I had other more chronic but equally tormenting self-destructive ways of dealing with my painful youth), I felt the same desperation as the boy in the clip below. And I love him.
I don't know him but I want to wrap him up and protect him from this experience and from these feelings. I want to walk through the halls with him in school and bulldoze through anyone who might try to bring him harm. But I can't.
So I'll do the next best thing: Let's seriously come up with a program/presentation as artists, as professionals from all fields and as human beings from as many different backgrounds as possible to offer to schools. Let's find a way to resonate with the bullies so that they evolve. I will volunteer my time and my efforts to this end. I want to offer support to the kids being bullied in order to cultivate the same small seed in them that exists in each of us. The seed that says we are worth something.
Who's with me? How do we do this?
Watch Jonah reach out here.
I was made fun of in school too. In high school I developed a deep loathing of the "cool" kids. I reacquainted myself with some of them at a reunion, and found to my surprise that they had been made fun of at times too. I found a new sense of solidarity and compasssion I wish I'd had so long ago. We need to teach our children empathy at a very young age, and keep reinforcing that in the face of all the violence and hatred out there.
I was both bullied and a bully; made fun of and made fun of others.
Neither experience brought me any kind of happiness.
If both are going to suck, might as well have none of it to make it any worse.
I've written songs and blog entries about some of these situations. I'll try to think of a way to help.
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