Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Bullying, Cyber-Bullying and Public Humiliation: The Pain of Sticks, Stones, Words and Pictures

I’m with Ellen; I just can't keep silent!

Bullying, Cyber-Bullying and Public Humiliation...all the same!

They all hurt inside and out leaving a person suffering in silence, feeling humiliated, and scarred with emotional wounds. It is high time to stop the madness and start the kindness! Sadly, people (kids and adults) who hurting hurt other people. Its time to start the healing!

Ellen DeGeneres recently spoke about the crisis of kids/people committing suicide after being publicly humiliated, bullied, or cyber-bullied by peers. This has been a long time topic amongst my own family and friends. Frankly, I just can’t keep silent either!

We're talking about our kids here!

The recent news of quite a few kids committing suicide over being bullied/cyber-bullied, publicly humiliated via Internet has had me weeping. It is very sad. I wept over every single “child” who chose suicide to cope with the bullying/cyber bullying or public humiliation via the Internet that they were enduring as the way to ease their pain. And, I am just as concerned for the kids who are living with it in silence and hurting terribly from what they endure.
Just think about the pain a person is in to consider dying over something. But, there are also lots of kids suffering in silence every day. Kids whose grades start dropping, kids who have behavioral changes because they are hurting from what they are holding inside, kids who just take the abuse of others quietly hoping it will end soon.

Something has to change!

Parents, if you're too busy to see it,

hear it or do something about it;

You’re too busy!

Kids are precious gifts from God and time passes too quickly not to notice and care or monitor what our kids are doing or saying on the Internet, in school and at home. It is not the jobs of the teachers in the schools to raise our kids but to teach them academically while we teach them about values, morality, and right behaviors at home. We have to take on our responsibility. Some of today's children are suffering and attacking others to lash out because of the pain they are in due to life's issues that they simply can't handle or cope with in general. They really should come first in our lives. They really need to know we care, we are there and that they are loved. Perhaps, finding out the source of their anger is the first step that might stop the bullying. I know that might be hard because sometimes it requires us as parents to look at ourselves too.

It is everywhere. The Internet has become a negative tool to some people to hurt others thinking they are in their own little world and not even realizing that once you type something and click send you have just told the entire world what you are thinking and feeling. And if it hurts another person or attacks another person or shows a picture of another person (that didn’t approve for it to be shown) you are harassing, attacking and bullying that person.
It becomes the responsibility of anyone in the public who sees it to respond to it and try to help stop it. Whether it is school officials, web site authorities, parents or the police; IT HAS TO STOP!

Cyber-bullying and bullying in general has taken over and parents, school officials and society in general have got to do something now.

All of these things are unacceptable!

Bullying/cyber bullying/public humiliation takes on various methods of attack. Whether it is sending a picture of someone from a cell phone which violates their privacy, writing something bad about a person on any web site, making threats (even if you are not going to follow through or if it is just for your laughs at the expense of the other person), saying mean and hurtful things and even a slight push in a school hall way.

Cyber-bullying is when someone chooses to use the computer via the Internet to threaten, talk bad about someone, publicly humiliate a person or curse at the other person. Anything that makes another person feel threatened or hurt because of something that is done or said is bullying.

Kids and young adults; tell someone!
Don’t deal with it alone!
We care! We love you!

If you are being bullied or cyber-bullied

(harassed, threatened, teased, embarrassed,

pushed around, made fun of, cursed at or

talked about in a negative way) by another

person physically or on the Internet;

Please tell someone.

There are laws that protect you from this and consequences for the person who is doing the bullying. Mostly, people who bully other people do not feel that great about themselves so they try to put the focus on someone else by the methods I listed above.

But, you shouldn’t suffer at their expense or their need to use you for a laugh, a good joke or a punching bag. There is always at least one person out there that you know; whether it is a friend, a parent, a relative (aunt, uncle or cousin) or pastor who will stand by you, listen and/or help resolve the problem. If you are being bullied please tell someone because you don’t deserve it and they shouldn’t be doing it.

It’s not funny and it’s not a joke!
To the kids who think it’s funny to hurt someone else with video, text messages, pictures, or words you need to stop and think about what you are doing. Bullying, harassing or embarrassing others has consequences. You too, are loved so stop hurting other people because you may be hurting or because you think its harmless fun at the expense of the person you are hurting. No one deserves to be hurt in any way.

The old saying,
“Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me” is an untrue statement.
Words do hurt!

Put down the sticks, don’t throw the stones;

And refrain from using hurtful words!

Sticks and stones hurt and so do the words that are used to attack others. Words are powerful. Words can lift a person up or bring a person down. Yes, you can try not to allow hurtful things to wound your soul and crush your spirit but for the most part they manage to get in and accomplish the pain intended from the person who sent the wounding word. Spend more energy and time on being kind, saying nice things, and just being a kid with positive things to do and say. Your reward will be greater and better for being a kind person. It is better to be noticed for doing something nice than to be noticed for doing something hurtful.

Parents, I used to take this a little lighter and felt that kids should work it out. But, I was wrong in my thinking or old school mentality. Years ago, when I was a kid that’s how we were raised to handle it; but times have changed and as time changes so should the way we handle things according to the events that come with the changes of life and time. We now have the advancement of technology unlike when I was a child. We have cell phones that record video, take pictures and send text messages along with the Internet that reaches out to the world and around the world with the click of a button.

Bullying and cyber–bullying which is more common today has to be stopped! Its time to step in and step up! The time of allowing kids to handle it “on their own” is over because it has gotten out of control and kids are suffering because of it. Yes, they have to learn positive coping mechanisms along the way but they also need to know we are here to protect them and they should not have to endure constant and consistent verbal attacks or physical harm at the expense of another child’s thrill. It’s simply not like it used to be. Watch the news where you will find parents watching kids fight each other, kids committing suicide over peer related stress, violated privacy, bullying, cyber-bullying and other things.

Believe it or not; kids carry alot of stress!

Times have changed and with changing times must come changed ways of handling the events that are present. Kids are suffering (mostly in silence) and worse yet; dying because they simply can’t handle the unnecessary pressure and stress they feel from this kind of abuse from their peers.

Kids, your life is too important to end over someone bullying you. You have your whole life to live and too many people love you, care about you and want you around for as long as possible. One day, you will grow up and remember your school days and how great of a job you did getting through them. You are only walking through a small part of the big life you have ahead of you.

Don’t stop walking and don’t give up because you’re too important in this world.

If you are being bullied/cyber-bullied/abused or publicly humiliated please talk to someone; don’t hold it in. Someone will walk you through it or help talk to you about how your feeling.

You don’t deserve to be bullied by anyone.

You are a special person!

Remember, suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem.

Together with a family member, friend, or pastor you can work to find a solution that helps your temporary problem and one that will keep you here growing, learning and living!

Finally, if you’re reading this and you have bullied, cyber-bullied, threatened, harassed or publicly humiliated someone in the past; please stop here and now.

Change your thinking and it will change your actions!

Blessings of love, peace and understanding,


Friday, October 1, 2010

Striving for Excellence or Perfection?

Do you strive for excellence or perfection?

There is a difference.

Awakened early this morning with thoughts running through my mind; I heard myself ask aloud; "why do some strive for perfection instead of striving for excellence"?

Throughout my life I have watched people who spend endless amounts of energy and exhausting amounts of precious time in life striving for perfection. Yes, that too, was once me. This debilitating mentality leaves an individual seeking to perfect everything they do and everything they are; that they think will lead to some esteemed place that doesn't exist.

I think that a perfection mentality is a personality flaw. It is haughty and unrealistic. You will find that most people who live with this perfection mentality are very controlling, manipulative and condescending because nothing or anyone can measure up to their perfect little world that they "perceive" is perfect; yet this perfectionism perspective is far from reality.  I was raised in a perfectionist type home and it took me years to realize this was destroying my peace, bringing me down and ruining relationships. It has also taken me years to cognitively and behaviorally readjust and to let go of this mentality that will leave a person distressed event after failed event.

Of course, if you are operating with a perfection mentality it will be extremely difficult to even acknowledge or see anything less than perfect. So, listen to those closest to you who express their disharmony, disaffection or subtle digressions from you; because being around you makes them feel less than perfect and is a constant reminder that they cant live up to that or be anywhere near your perfect world that makes them feel like a failure. See the sign below...There simply is no perfect place and there is no perfect human being.

Why? Because perfection is a perception and not a reality.

Let's look at perfection.

To be perfect means that something or you is perfect and without flaw. This truly is our own perception; well the perfection perception. Surely someone would come along and find that what an individual deemed as perfected would not meet up to another person's  view or standard of perfection therefore ruling out the truth that something is perfect.

I know, I know. Quite philosophical and complex; some might even say that denying perfection is a defeated mentality but look again closely and think about it!!

I mean it really is quite simple.

Striving for perfection is possible. I mean the striving part. But, you will keep striving and striving and striving because the unrealistic part to that statement is that reaching perfection is humanly impossible!

It is a set up for failure. It will keep you from actually achieving excellence.

Excellence vs Perfection

In a post I recently submitted on my personal facebook page this is what I wrote:

I am perplexed at what prompted this analysis. Perhaps this journey of life and watching people (including myself, family and certain friends) struggle as they strive for perfection had me searching. My father was a perfectionist and yes I believe we inherited (lol) this perfection trait or what I now call a flaw.    I have personally came to the realization that this perfection trait had to go because it was stealing my joy and making me feel worthless.

When I let go I felt liberated and free to excel in striving for excellence instead of perfection. 

I believe striving for perfection steals our joy, our human-ness and drive for excellence. When you strive for perfection you walk passed excellence seeking that perfect you, that perfect someone or that perfect something. I like not being perfect and love striving to do my best (excellence). Those who strive for perfection actually live discontent lives unable to attain the perfection they seek from themselves and others. Most perfectionists will be lonely driving away everyone around them who they believe cant live up to their perfect world.

It seems that perfection and striving for it; leaves an individual with a fear of not fulfilling something perfectly. Fear attracts anger, frustration and chaos. We will choose not to entertain certain things in life because we will fear not doing it perfectly or falling short of it being perfect. Therefore, striving for perfection becomes a debilitating factor leaving a person feeling inadequate, insufficient, and lacking.
When we strive for excellence we can give it our all and our best knowing it is achievable because our best is our best and it will not be perfect. Someone can always do better and someone will always be worse; there simply is no perfect. Have you ever heard or seen something or someone say "There, that is perfect" only to watch or see someone else come along and do it better or find a flaw with what you called perfect?

Of course you have! Unless your in denial.

We set realistic goals and they can reached when we strive for excellence and not perfection. Perfection demands control and holds strong judgemental attitudes while excellence promotes humility, positive drive, joy, faith and accomplishment.

Those who strive for excellence will see others following them gladly. Sadly, perfectionists will drive others away and encounter loneliness, sadness and confusion as to why they are alone and why they cant seem to ever quite get it right. Simply put some of us just cant seem to keep up or live up to the perfect world that others seem to live in; idealistically!


Perhaps because this perfect world simply doesn't exist.

From my Christian perspective; and humble opinion; which I understand not everyone will agree with, I personally found that when I accepted a life in Christ and realized I am loved unconditionally in my human-ness with all of my flaws yet accepted in HIM and that HE died for me, forgave me and set me free; I was set free from being perfect and set on a road to strive for excellence until the day of perfection when I am in His perfect presence.  

As He dwells in my heart in His perfect-ness through my fallen-ness, weak-ness and human-ness I am able to achieve excellence as I progress through life striving to do the best that I can and achieving the achievable; Excellence.

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