Day 158 Question 158:
As a society, how do we reduce the amount of bullying the seems to be occurring more and more often?
A recent news story caught my attention and in mere moments I had a wide array of emotions rushing through my body. I am going to attach the 2 videos that have streamed across the Internet for those of you that have not heard about this story or seen the videos. The first video (in my opinion) is hard to watch. This video shows a 68 year old woman being verbally abused on a school bus by middle school aged kids. I was absolutely appalled and all that kept flashing through my mind was my mother. What if that was my mother sitting there having young kids call her atrocious names and bully her while she sat there doing her job as a bus monitor. This video disgraced me in all forms of the word and sadly I would be willing to bet that these kids will get a slap on the hand. Their mothers and fathers will defend them up and down because we have grown to become a nation of entitlement and placing the blame on others. I do not have children and I am VERY unsure if I want them but if I did or do, I would NEVER allow that type of behavior to occur. I am not saying that we need to raise our children military style but I am beginning to feel that all rules and regulations and teaching of common respect have gone out the window. If that was my child (any of them taking part in this bullying), he/she would be yanked out of school that day and would be home-schooled for at least 1 year and in his/her free time, he/she would be volunteering at nursing homes and in the community and a public apology would occur immediately. Bullying of that form (in any form for that matter) should NEVER occur and the thought of a child bullying an adult like that makes me absolutely sick. Is respect becoming a thing of the past? Are kids being coddled and spoiled so much that they believe it is ok to treat another person like that? Honestly, I am so sick of reading stories about bullying. Who is teaching these kids that they are better than anyone and that treating people as if they were garbage is ok? Who is teaching these kids that the world owes them a favor? Why are schools continually failing us by not taking proper disciplinary actions in cases such as this? Is it due to laziness? Is it due to too much paperwork? Is it due to politics? If we continue with that sort of mentality, I fear what this country is going to be like in 10 more years.
I am the type of person that tries to put a positive spin on everything if at all possible but I am also human and sometimes I get angry. This story made me absolutely livid. I do not blame all kids. There are massive amounts of great kids out there that are role models and leaders but there are FAR TOO MANY that are growing up to be selfish brats. Sorry to say it but it is true. I am a nanny currently and I have so much respect for the people I work for. They love their children so very much but they also show them limits. They do not allow their children to run their households. They would NEVER allow their children (when they get older) to talk to adults with such disrespect. They are the type of parents that play the roles that parents are meant to play…the authoritarian figure that guides them through life. Prior to this job, I had different jobs where it was the complete opposite. I watched parents give into every single one of their child’s temper tantrums and meltdowns. I watched parents cram candy in their mouths just so they wouldn’t bother them anymore. I watched parents (over and over again) blame the teacher (for whatever it might be that day). Oh no, their kid could not have possibly done any wrong. I watched parents display despicable behavior right in front of their children. I cannot wrap my brain around how a parent could do any of these things. I am not a parent but I know how I function as a human being. If I were to become pregnant, I would become a changed person. From that day on, life would no longer be about me. My job would be to protect and do what is best for my child/children. It is inevitable that all parents will make mistakes but there are certain things (in my opinion) that are common sense. At a young age I would start teaching my children respect and about what it means to be compassionate and empathetic. I would enforce rules and teach them about giving back. I understand that sometimes it is necessary to go into survival mode when a child is absolutely freaking out but how have we gotten to the point of our children getting on a bus and harassing a grown woman? Why are we constantly competing to be better than everyone else? Remember, if you are reading this, I am NOT speaking for all parents and for all kids…I am merely voicing my opinion on an issue that is becoming a bigger and bigger problem as time passes. Is this becoming a bigger problem because of the technology boom? Is this becoming a bigger problem because in most households both parents are working? I really wish I had these answers and I wish I had a solution. The solution comes individually though….the solution comes only through all of our choices. This videos show that there are some people out there that had made some REALLY POOR CHOICES (both children and parents). I couldn’t even watch a majority of the video because I started to have that sinking feeling in my chest and I couldn’t help but think, “What if that was my mother? What would I do?”
Honestly, I don’t have any answer to the question posed above. It simply comes down to the choices that people make and if parents do not step up to the plate (as well as communities and schools-because I strongly feel that it takes a village to raise a child) then we will never see any improvement when it comes to this issue. In fact, we will see the statistics of these incidents shoot through the roof. I am not a parents (and these are just my thoughts and opinions) but we need to love and guide our children but we need to stop allowing them to control the household and the classroom (or anywhere else for that matter). We need to teach them about respect and common decency and we need to teach them to see the world outside of themselves….we ALL need to stop being selfish. What changed my life is the realization that everyone else in this world has walked a different path. I have no idea how anyone else really feels or where they have come from. It is unfair for me to just assume and make blind judgments. Just this morning I went to get coffee at my usual gas station and there was a couple sitting outside with a sign that said: TRYING TO GET HOME AND VERY HUNGRY! They could have been drug addicts (who knows) but in that moment I got out of my car and handed them $5. While handing it to them I said, “When you make it back home you need to do something for me. I want you to do a good deed for someone else.” I think they were both shocked at my gesture and they smiled really big. They told me more than once that they definitely would. Whether or not they would or whether or not they spent the money on booze of drugs, I will never know…it was a kind gesture in a moment that I felt drawn to do. I felt drawn to do it because I thought, “What if that was someone I knew? What if that was me?” We can never know where someone truly comes from so being compassionate and empathetic (in my opinion) is the best path to take because anger and disrespect and violence will never solve anything.