"In spite of everything, I still believe that people are really good at heart." -Anne Frank

Monday, November 17, 2014


In honor of Anne, I think it is fitting that I start with bullying.

Bullying drives me crazy!!!  We've all heard it—“if you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all".  And in my mind—I  immediately think of Thumper the rabbit in Bambi.  Well, this simple lesson is apparently too hard for far too many to learn.  And now that we live in a world where we can sit in front of a computer screen and connect with people everywhere, bullying is running rampant.  Bullying is no longer just a play yard event.  Bullying has infiltrated our homes and every other aspect of our lives.

All three of my brothers were bullied in school.  My husband was bullied and so were many of his family.  They were physically and verbally bullied.  This is bad enough—and yet, bullying has gotten worse.

Bullies nowadays, need to drive their viciousness farther and harder!

Texting and tweeting.  Facebook and Instagram.  These technological advancements in socializing can be life-changing.  Sadly, there is more than one way to change someone's life.  And bullies use these opportunities to damage.

Who are bullies?  We usually picture the gruff looking kid at school or the person who is bullied and abused at home and perpetuates the actions they've physically experienced themselves.  But bullies come in all shapes and sizes.  You could be a bully and not even realize it.  It is so easy to jump on the negativity bandwagon.  I've watched as someone innocently posts an opinion on Facebook and then the comments come rolling in—insulting and accusatory.  Something as innocent as a mother posting a concerned question about their child somehow means it is okay to berate her ability to mother.  Seriously?

What would your love ones think if they read what you were writing?  Better yet, how would you feel if the roles were reversed and someone was belittling you publicly? Are these posts something you would feel comfortable saying face to face?  

Social media gives people a false sense of reality.  Because the slander is posted on an inanimate object—phone, computer, tablet—there is a disconnect.  It's not real, right?  I can't see their faces, so how could I possibly be hurting someone? Even though the intended viewers are—again—relatively faceless, they are REAL and their pain is REALITY.  Once the damage is done, it is like a virus spreading through a virtual world. And there are those who are watching and waiting with feverishly impatient fingers to jump in on the slanderous disgorging. 

Social media is not faceless.  There are unique and feeling individuals in front of the screen.

That brings up another kind of bullying.

Let me start with, I'm grateful to be an American.  I'm grateful for the right to vote.  Now...something that I abhor with all my heart is the malicious campaigning from both sides.  In a nation where we say we are trying to teach our children that bullying is wrong, there is something horribly hypocritical about how elections are won.  During an election year, bullying is sanctioned.  "Hey!  They're only politicians--they don't have feelings,” right?  Wrong!  Or even better, "they chose this"...yes, they chose this profession...a profession of representing the people—us, We the People...not a profession of being slandered and bullied.

Using lies or (worse in my opinion) twisted truths (you know, the age old tactic of "it's out of context") to try and win an election to represent the people of this great Nation, is WRONG!  And yet it is propagated by The People.  I can't believe how much of this bullying was clogging up my news feed.

Anyway...my point...Bullying is Bullying...no matter what name you stamp on it or who approves this message.  I hope for the day that We the People stand up to this debased behavior by voting for people who stand on their own merit and not the follies or so-called follies of others.

If you are frustrated with the way politics are going, how about producing a plan.  Stop committing logical fallacies!  When you are arguing a point and you find you need to insult the opposing side—you've lost the argument and solved nothing.

Now for other famous people.  Actors and musicians seem to get the blunt end of bullying.  They are bullied on social media, they are bullied in super-markets, and they are bullied on television.  Every week I enter one of these domains and I am bombarded by the hateful rumors and implications famous So-and-So should have, could have, or would have committed.  And why is this type of bullying so prevalent in our society?  Because we crave it!  We want the scandal and the good old gossip corner!  

We are paying for pain to be inflicted on others-whether it is through the magazines we buy or the news we demand.  And it breaks my heart that the people who bring me entertainment (entertainment that I can't imagine living without) are being punished publicly for their life choices and even their seemingly menial choices (you know...like, "Oh, my...no they did not wear that to the Grammy's")  And if the magazines and news didn't say enough—the regular Joe is always willing to add their own two-cents on social media.

Do you spread negative thoughts about someone—even if it is true?  Well, stop!  And if you are about to post something about someone you know that damages their reputation or their self-esteem—stop!  Whether you know them or not, whether they're famous or not, whether they injured you first or not, here is a good rule of thumb—if it is negative about someone—don't post it!  Try filling your posts with all the positive things in this world.  There are a lot of good people and a lot of praiseworthy things to post about.  And for those who still bully the so-called old fashioned way—stop and think before you act!  Bring joy into the lives of others.  We don't need negativity crowding up our lives.  We need hope.  Hope in the good-hearted people, who are found thriving in every country across the world.

Check out this well-done video on bullying: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FYVvE4tr2BI&feature=youtu.be

For information on how to stop bullying check out:  http://www.stopbullying.gov

Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram—as well as other social media, all have options for reporting bullying.  If you are being bullied or know someone who is being bullied, don't be afraid to use these resources to report it!  

P.S. Anyone who wishes to leave their mark on this blog with a smart alec bullying act—tough luck!  All comments will be previewed (not by me) before posting.  So don't waste your time.  I want this blog to encourage good will and good-heartedness.  And that is all I will allow.  Now, if you want to express your opinion respectfully—have at it!

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