Defining Bully

As I surf around the internet, I read comments.  Some comments provide support, and some comments provide information to consider, but other comments are just plain mean.  As I think about my kids being on the internet, I cringe at the comments that they might receive about things that they say or post.  I have tried to talk with my kids about being a bully, and being bullied, and give them skills that they need to stay confident but I worry about them and other kids trying to find their way in the world.  If you make comments that cause someone to question who they are, in a way that is judgmental, you are a bully.

I understand that people don’t agree with the choices that others make.  There are so many things around the world that I don’t understand or agree with, but I would not judge them without taking the time to learn more about why it is that way.  There is so much more to a person than what they might write in a post, or a comment.  As I work with people, I understand that they make choices based on their history and their present.  However, people are so much more than we will ever be able to get from reading things on the computer.  

I think about people that hurt other people, and I think about people who make lifestyle choices.  I have worked with people who are heterosexual and gay.  I have worked with transgender people and others who are trying to figure out who they are supposed to be.  It’s hard enough for teens to begin to find out who they are becoming.  They need support to explore, appropriately, and find who they are.  They deserve that chance.  I have watched kids fall into depression because they were not accepted for who they were.  Kids have taken their own lives because they reached out and were met with hate and judgement.  How is that helpful to anyone?

I have a very strong faith, but I also struggle with Christians who force their beliefs on others.  I read things at times that seem more like judgment and damnation.  People make comments, under the guise of being Christian, without knowing what someone has been through, and what they continue to go through.  They seem to believe that they understand, but it’s as if they really can’t see the pain when someone is hurting.  People need to be who they are, gay, straight, tall short, religious or atheist.  Doesn’t the bible preach that we should accept everyone for who they are?  Only God can judge, if you believe in God.  Why is it so hard to let him do that?

Being a bully means making someone feel small or weak.  It means that you don’t understand what they are going through and how they feel, many times because you haven’t asked.  Ask yourself, how would I feel if someone said this to me?  How would I feel if it were me?  The world is struggling as it is.  It doesn’t need any more judgement, any more negative thoughts or finger pointing.  It needs people to stand up for others, fully understand the pain of others, and work to make this world a better place.  Don’t be a bully.  It bad for your health and won’t help you be happy for life.