Don’t Hate. Appreciate.

Don't Hate. Appreciate.

We all associate October with Breast Cancer Awareness Month, but what most people don’t know is that October is also Anti-Bullying Month.

According to Bullyingstatistics.org, “there are about 2.7 million students being bullied each year by about 2.1 million students taking on the roll of the bully.” Those who have been victims of bullying sometimes become the bully as a way to retaliate.

We’ve all talked about people behind their backs, whether it was intentional or not, and said things that we would never say to their face. We victimize innocent people every day. People who are just like us, yet we put them down to feel better about ourselves.

You don’t know what goes on in their personal lives, yet you feel you have the right to judge them and make them feel worthless. Calling someone stupid will not make you any smarter, and calling someone ugly will not make you any prettier. There’s no bright side to bullying, and there is no justification to making someone feel horrible about himself or herself.

Practical jokes can get out of hand the moment they start. Some may view them as cheap wisecracks not meant to harm anyone, but there will always be someone who takes it too far. To the people on the receiving end, they feel unaccepted. They feel like there is something wrong with them that needs to be altered to meet the approval of those around them. Making fun of someone’s weight, or grades, or anything negative about them can easily spark an unbreakable series of low self-esteem and self consciousness, and no matter how many compliments that person receives there will always be those insults overpowering them.

During my seventh and eighth grade year, I was bullied by various people. Some of them were just joking around, but some things they said were hurtful. I didn’t do anything about it. I just acted like it was all a joke and laughed along with them. Finally, in my eighth grade year, an anonymous person went to Coach Dardar and told him about what was going on, and he stopped it. I still don’t know who that person was, but I’m grateful they said something because I know I would not have. A lot of the people who gave me a hard time genuinely did not mean anything by it, but I’m still affected by it today. People who are victims will rarely confront the bullies, and that makes the bullies think that it’s okay, since nothing is being done about it. I could name at least three people who were previously in my grade who were blatantly ridiculed and mocked in front of their faces, and they coincidentally don’t attend Ascension anymore.

Cyber bullying has become an increasingly dangerous problem with the Age of Technology. Facebook, Instagram, Tumblr, ask.fm, and the other social networking sites allow people to post hurtful comments and pictures that can spread to thousands within seconds. The thing about cyber bullying is that whatever is said or posted online is permanent. Nothing is kept private on the internet.  Even if you delete it within the same minute that it was put up, people will have taken screenshots, forwarded, and posted it on various other websites. The next thing you know, there’s a cover story about it on Yahoo.

Some websites allow comments to be anonymous, but that’s not a reason to say anything you want. Imagine that person reading these comments from strangers and people they know telling him/her to kill himself/herself and that they are a waste of space. Comments like that from anyone can hit hard and have tragic repercussions. It’s so easy to gang up on someone online and with the age we live in, it’s almost impossible to ignore. With enough pressure, a person will do anything.

The next time you see someone being picked on, don’t do nothing. Tell an adult or go help them yourself. Just standing by their side can make a huge difference. Bullying isn’t a trend. If you’re friends start making fun of someone and it’s passed the point of a mutual joking, don’t join in. They won’t stop being your friend if you don’t want to make a comment, and if they do, then they aren’t the kind of person you should want to be friends with. The world is full of different kinds of people, and that’s what makes it so colorful. If everyone were the same then life would be dull and predicable, so instead of judging the differences you see, embrace them.