I was channel surfing when I came upon this anti-bullying message to kids, with its campaign: “STOP BULLYING: SPEAK UP.” I immediately thought back to my childhood, when I was often the ONLY child to stand up to bullies, many times as they were picking on the “retarded and handicapped,” as we called “handicapable” folks back then. The others would stand around fearfully gawking for the most part.
My next thought was, after all these years – I don’t want to tell you how many DECADES it’s been – kids STILL don’t have the innate morality, drive and ability not to allow bullies to behave badly?!
I never had a thought of harm to myself, and it didn’t really happen physically, except once when I got into a fistfight and ended up with a black eye. I did, however, endure the wrath of the bullies directed at me for many years after my confrontations with them.
Of course, I fought back, even though I was definitely outnumbered on occasion. The most effective thing I did was to seek the assistance of a school counselor in middle school. The main bully not only quit picking on me, but SHE also protected me in high school for other bullies. (She went on to become a “dikey” Lacrosse player – go figure.)
In any event, I’m sure you can imagine that it was impossible for me NOT to speak up. Not much has changed. 🙂
It’s surprising how empowering it is to stand up to bullies. It’s also what the great women and men of history have traditionally done, as they champion the causes of the underdog. It is especially important to stand up to RELIGIOUS BULLIES, as these use the ultimate form of terrorism: Right down to your very mind, soul and spirit. That’s psychological SLAVERY, folks. Let’s not encourage it in any way, shape or form.