I have been doing a lot of praying about bullying in the recent years. I am struck by all the news stories of how bullying resulted in a truly tragic ending of a young life. I am living in church environment in which bullies usually not only reside but are enabled by a system that continues to let them win. I just cannot understand how our society is “OK” with such behavior. I also recently feel that lots of pop songs are truly encouraging people to be “Brave” or to be like a “Firework” and other great lyrics that are pushing people to not let that be the normal.
As part of my prayer I have been trying to be open to the world around me and in the last several months by heart has grown quite aware as to the reality of the bully problem. This is NOT just isolated cases or even just a problem for school age kids – this is a HUGE society problem and we ALL need to take ownership of this and change.
I’m calling my husband and his family out on this first. In their family they spend a lot of time giving each other a hard time. In fact my husband calls his sister the “ugly one” even though she is anything but ugly. It has gotten so extreme that one time he mentioned her being ugly and she wasn’t even around. She has her own words for him, so she isn’t blameless in this. Although this is how they act, they truly love each other and in the years have come through to support each other when need. Yet this is the example that our children have of a healthy (?) relationship. This relationship is full of bullying – albeit in a joking way.
I’m calling out all of our TV sitcoms. There is always the one person that the sitcom makes into a character who is funny just for being – and in a way we all make fun of them. And making fun is a form of bullying.
Many normal adults today spend a lot of time bringing people down in jokingly ways. This is what our children see – and the people who are different are always targeted out. If we want bullying to stop and to have a true impact on our world, we need to change. ALL OF US.
Our Christian faith does not leave room for this. We are asked to lift people up – lift up their gifts and individuality. So let us do so. If we spent as much time lifting people up as we often do tearing people down we all might have more healthy relationships and our children may get a new message instead of what we are teaching them today.