Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me. I know this mantra is supposed to help people who are being hurt by bullies and it may work for some but for me it didn’t. As a kid I was bullied a lot, for reasons I don’t think matter, because no one deserves to be bullied. Words have more power than people care to admit. Power that can really harm a person. For me, they have stuck with me to this day, and have made me who I am.
Bullying affects many people of all ages. What makes things worse is that we now have more access to technology at an early age, which allows them to be affected early on. Kids now have access to Instagram, where they can experience receiving a hurtful comment, or they could have Twitters, where they are introduced to things they shouldn’t be. For example, I’ve seen these posts on Twitter where they say, “like if you’ve done or thought this before” and they list mundane things like gone to school, taken out the trash, did homework, and then slip in things like buried a body, or wanted to hurt yourself. And then after listing them all it says, “no one will know which one you’ve done or thought”. What’s sad is that it’s true, no one will know because no one will ask. Getting access to negative posts like this are that much easier. Which means that bullies can reach us from anywhere at any time. It can be from strangers on the internet or even companies trying to sell their products to a certain demographic. We are told by people we don’t even know that we aren’t worth it, and that we will never meet society’s standards. I believe that some people don’t take bullying seriously because they think the term bullying sounds juvenile. In a way it does have something to do with juveniles. It’s at this youthful age where kids learn to be mean. If we want to make this world a better place with happier people, we need to start by teaching people unbiased kindness.
It costs nothing to be kind. Everyone is different and we need to start celebrating those differences instead of beating people down, until they feel like they are worth nothing. Some people think that suicide is selfish and that people who commit suicide are just looking for attention, when that is the furthest from the truth. They were beaten and lashed with words and unattainable expectations until they couldn’t take it anymore. Kindness. An eight-letter word. So simple yet so powerful. I don’t know about you, but kind people are my kind of people. They should be yours too.