When my wife and I went through our troubled times a few years back, I wrote on the mirror – Who do you want to be today? It was a daily reminder that when we looked in the mirror, we had a choice that day to do the right thing and live for God or do the wrong thing. It was our choice.
It is your choice who you want to be today. Do you want to be a bully? Do you want to put others down and make fun of them? Do you want to make a change and make your corner of the world a better place? God gave us free will. He let’s us choose what we will do with this time we spend on this earth.
I don’t understand bullies. I don’t understand taking your frustrations out on someone that is weaker than you. Why don’t bullies pick on someone that can fight back? Unfortunately, bullies develop early in childhood. Some reasons are lack of love, lack of attention, they see their parents be bullies, they lack social skills, etc. Psychologists have determined that bullies are untroubled by anxiety, they have a strong need to dominate and derive satisfaction from their actions, they have little or no prosocial skills – they do not know how to relate to others. They also do not understand how little they are liked because their “friends” will encourage them, laugh with them etc when they do bully. I do know bullies are hurting also. They just don’t know how to express it. I do know that if they don’t learn how to that it affects them their entire lives, their relationships, their jobs, their kids. Both bullies and their victims can be affected the rest of their lives by their actions.
The cycle can be stopped. It must be stopped.
Parents need to understand it is not boys will be boys or girls will be girls. It is a call for attention, albeit the wrong kind. Unfortunately us parents fail to see or choose not to see bullying-not sharing, throwing their toys at others- when the child is younger, which only enforces their belief that it is okay as they get older. Then as they get older parents are so consumed with work, bills, soccer practice, band practice, etc that we talk to our kids but don’t carry conversations with them on what is going on in their lives.
My wife and I have tried to raise all our girls the right way but we are a blended family and didn’t always get to teach them right. Other circumstances, Kayhla’s mom leaving her for Florida, also threw in some wrenches. For the most part I would like to believe they stand up for what they believe in and try their best to help others. I know since Kylie has been with us from birth that she has been raised to have high self esteem, to be aware of how her friends treat her, etc. I know a few times she has had trouble with a couple girls that were mean to her and she tried to talk to and be nice to and when that didn’t work she asked the teacher to move her seat so she could do her work. She also asked to have a one on one meeting with one of the girls and her teacher to discuss the issues at hand.
I can tell you I have always stood up to bullies. Most of the time when someone came at me, I stood my ground. I have never been in a fight but I have never backed down. I can tell you one story at my last job where I was the transportation manager at a scrap yard where we have some unsavory customers. My boss, who was a bully, said we were going to work until five one Christmas Eve. We had always closed at one in the past. No one said a word, except for me and I said no. We work six days a week, if we work until five we will miss Christmas Eve services, we have family to see and it isn’t right and I won’t work and neither will anyone else. He didn’t like it but sent out an email asking for everyone else’s opinion. They all said he was wrong. We closed at one that day. Maybe I have just got lucky or maybe God has always been watching out for me but in my experience, if you don’t back down, they usually walk away (I know this isn’t always true though). I have also just walked away from people, sometimes you have to be the bigger person and just walk away. Each situation is different.
I would like to say I have never been a bully but I have. When my wife made some poor choices, I berated her constantly. I wouldn’t let it drop. I was a bully. I was hurt and I wanted her to hurt. I should’ve been more Christ-like. I am human though and I am sure at one point in our lives, most of us have done something that we would consider as bully behavior. Gossip, talking about someone behind their back, putting something on social media, anything that would hurt someone else. It is so easy to always look at the negative in people but everyone has good qualities also.
We have the power to build others up. Say something nice. It doesn’t take much to say nice job on that test, you did a good job on that project, nice to see you today, anything positive that comes from the heart and is genuine.
I wouldn’t want to be the one that caused someone else to hurt themselves or even commit suicide. I don’t know how I could ever look at myself in the mirror if I did.
Again, I don’t think my words came out like I wanted them to but I hope God uses them to touch someone on this issue. You can make a difference. Be a positive role model.
When you look in the mirror will you feel good about yourself? Did you help or did hurt today? Today our mirror has on it God, Trust, Pray, Believe, Hope, Faith. It is our choice that that is who we want to be.