Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Oh Yeah...? Well, Bully THIS.

Bully:  A blustering, quarrelsome, overbearing person who habitually badgers and intimidates smaller or weaker people.

Bullying.  It's a hot topic, but an age old problem.  

I was the crazy kid in school who'd stand up for some of the other kids.  And I went insane if someone tried to threaten me on any level.  My Mom still teases me that she looked out the window once (my school bus stop was RIGHT next to where I lived..) and saw me at the age of 5 with my finger in the air bitching out these two crazy boys who lived down the street for whatever they were doing or saying. I  got into an actual fist fight with a couple of different boys in elementary school when they were jerks to me,  (hence the scar in my right eyebrow..) and  tipped a boy clean over his desk when he did something mean.  My way of "fighting back" didn't solve a single thing, but I wouldn't stand for nonsense back then.  I was... SO UNPOPULAR!  HAHA

I was also the girl who, again at the age of 5, met another kid who was wearing spectacles.  I had never met a kiddo my age who wore them so I was completely confused by the concept.  I said something off color, without meaning to, and I wound up hurting her feelings.  Thankfully, she's been one of my dearest friends since then and I consider her my "sister from another mister."   

Bullying existed huge at my school.  I think it does in ALL schools.

Wanna know what happens to some of the peeps who get bullied?  A lot of them grow up and get kick ass educations and have largely successful careers.  They somehow find a light in the dark and rise above it.

Wanna know what happens to some of the peeps who bully?  They STAY THE SAME.  Some of them wind up in their 30's and are the local town jackass.

Now, these are BROAD, BROAD strokes of two sides of a significant coin.

I used to coach this kid Actor who told me once he had gotten bullied in his last school.  I was shocked.  He is this amazingly talented kid who is kind and cool and incredibly funny.  I asked him what he felt like after he booked such and such... If it made him feel better after having been bullied.  He said that the feeling of being bullied never goes away, but it felt good to have shown them what he could do--they started facebooking him after they saw him on TV...  Yep.

Kids are incredible.  And, a lot of times, they speak without a filter.  I think it's one of the most beautiful aspects of children, truth be told.  They have an honesty about them that we manage to lose once we hit high school and adulthood.

One of the things I learned about bullies when I was a kid, is that a lot of them came from horrible homes.  I know that's not always the case, not 100% of the time, but it seems to be a bit of a cycle.  There are two different cycles that seem to happen in an abusive home.  The kids are hit and screamed at and made to feel like they're less than.  They, in turn, will do the same thing to their peers so they can then feel like the victor in some invisible war that only they are fighting... Alone.  ORRRRRRRRRRRR... The victims of bullying are themselves in an awful home situation and they're the ones who walk around school feeling empty and lonely and without rage.  This makes them the easiest targets in the world.  (And every now and again, a child simply rises out of the home situation and moves past it in their adult life without experiencing the bully or the victim tendencies.  Anything is possible.)

In my opinion, a lot of bullying can be fully averted by how we treat our children.  Kids are fabulous sponges and mimic what they see each other and us do.  Bullying is such an epic problem that it's the cause of some attempted and successful suicides.  Kids literally trying to kill themselves because bullies have overrun their lives?? WHAT???

Children are a reflection of the society they live in.  I'm not talking movies or TV, etc. I am talking US.  The grown ups.  WE can change the course of a child's life by how we treat them at home, in classes, at restaurants, everywhere.  We rant and rave about bullying--as we should--it's TERRIBLE! 

Wouldn't it be more interesting a world if we worked together to alleviate it?  If we taught our kids compassion instead of rage and judgement?  Or taught our kids it's ok to stick up for themselves and it's ok to stick up for others?  (More peacefully than I chose to in school...!)

Childhood should be about freedom and love and nurturing and learning.  It should be exciting to be a child, not dreadful and filled with fear.

Let's change lives.  Let's be the examples instead of the excuses.


Michelle Tomlinson



  1. I was like you when I was a kid.A boy tried to bully me and I got right up in his face "want to make something out of this?"