About a week ago, I posted 5 Songs You Should Pay Attention To. The entry contained links to songs with certain concepts and messages. One of those songs I posted was Marsha Ambrosius smash hit, Far Away. The song details a deep friendship Marsha had with this guy, who come to find out was gay. At first listen, you wouldn't have known. You would have thought that it was a regular song about a woman missing a man. The video however helped enhance the song and made it even bigger than it was. In the video, her friend and his boyfriend were teased and harassed by several people on the street. Near the end of the video, her friend was attacked brutally by a gang of street thugs. Following that, he committed suicide. I don't want to focus on the fact that the man was gay, but the bullying issue I do want to talk about. It has gotten out of control.
Bullying has been here since the beginning of time. It's how wars are started. Modern day bullying has been displayed most frequently in the form of media. Growing up, I've had the pleasure to watch so many great cartoons and sitcoms. The core to the success of those programs was bullying. Just about every protagonist needs an antagonist, which is the bully. It's one of the only ways creators can get the audience to feel sympathy and rally behind the protagonist. Growing up, I've watched TV programs such as Saved By The Bell, Family Matters, and Full House. Almost every episode those programs display some form of bullying. However, it's always done in the form of comedy but you do see where it hurts the protagonist. When they first get kicked down, they would normally be willing to give up only to be talked out of it. Later on they somehow find a way to fight through it and get even with their bullies. That would work in a perfect world, but unfortunately we're far from perfect. In real life, bullying has had some severe repercussions.
When I was growing up, I've had my bullies. I think there was only one time when I cried and that was due to something I found out in the heat of the moment. I believe when I was in the 4th grade, I was picked on because some of the clothes I've worn. However, some of my classmates had some sort of codeword so that I wouldn't catch on. They used to walk by and say "Hakuna Matata". I never understood why they chose that word, but it became a habit. I remember this one day at my grandmother's house after school, my cousin (who was also in my class) and I got into a fight. He then blurted out everything that went on behind my back at school and how no one liked me and such. It really stung. I didn't cry right then and there, but I did later when I was alone. I was only 9 at the time, but I wanted to kill them all, my cousin included. These were people I conversed with and shared things with on a daily basis, and for me to find out about how they really treated me, I was crushed and angry. I stayed to myself for a while and didn't give them anything to talk about. Fortunately for me, my generation had thicker skin growing up so I've endured and eventually they came to respecting me. Unfortunately, I can't say the same for this generation.
Over the past few years, there has been a huge increase in school shootings, stabbings, and teenage suicide. Some of those actions were unprovoked, but most of them had stemmed from bullying. Today's bullying has evolved from the bullying my generation endured almost 2 decades ago. These days has gone beyond calling people names and knocking their books down in the hallway. With the advanced technology we have, people are now taking it to the internet. Facebook, Twitter, and other social networking sites has been the main catalyst for bullying. A lot of bullying had stemmed over bad friendships, relationship troubles, etc. With so many people having access to Facebook and YouTube, they can easily bully someone and get to their skin. They can do it through videos, photos, or even posting personal information for over thousands to see. It has gotten out of hand. My Facebook consist people 20+ in age, and even they had resorted to online bullying. It has become some sort of epidemic.
Every time you turn around, you hear about someone getting killed or even killing themselves because they got tired of the bullying. Don't get me wrong, I don't condone suicide at all. Matter of fact up until I recently lost a cousin, I had no sympathy for those who "chose the easy way out." However, my stance on that had changed. While I was always told that committing suicide is one of the ultimate sins, some of these kids who do it have no one to turn to. They feel as if the world had turned its back on them and they figured if you don't care, why should they? I'll never condone the actions of taking your own life, but I can't help but feel deep sadness for those individuals who have nowhere else to go. For some, even their own family has turned on them.
I'm no saint myself. I've done my share of bullying although it was all in good fun. However, it cost me a friendship and a possible relationship. Til this day, I'm still regretting it because I knew how wrong I was and I'm the last person who should be bullying especially since I was on the receiving end myself. I have come to terms that there will always be conflict because it's unavoidable. However, the constant one-sided bullying has got to stop. It's time to fight back, and I'm not talking about violence. I do believe that some very strict law should be enforced, such as a 3 strike system. It should depend on the severity of the bullying, but I don't think we should wait until someone commits suicide to enforce it. If someone reports it and has proof of the bullying, then we should enforce it. If not, then we're going to continue to lose our next police officer, teacher, or even our future president. Today's youth is the future, but if we can't do enough to make sure that they see the future, then we're doomed. So without resulting to violence, let's kill bullying.
Before I go, I would like to leave you with an interesting posting I've found on Facebook which inspired me to write this entry:
I encourage you all to re-post it as your status. Thank you, and enjoy the rest of your Sunday evening.