I’m a little peeved right now. Who am I kidding? I’m really peeved right now. I’ll get to that. First, I thought I’d better clarify a couple things.
Since I wrote Memoirs of a Bullied Kid, many have written and asked what the bullied kids should do to end the bullying. I am here to tell you now that I do not have, and will never have, the right answer for that. Every situation is different, every state of mind is different, and every child involved is different.
It is your job as parents, teachers, neighbors, youth advisers, and especially classmates, to offer each bullied kid an environment of trust. It is your job to create a safe place where they will find their voices. It is your job to fill each bullied child with empowerment and sufficient levels of self-love so that they can rise above their situations.
Stop leaving the burden of fixing this on the bullied kids. That line of thinking is arrogant and self-serving, and quite frankly, lazy.
I stand behind my declaration that the only way to end this crisis is to stand together in our schools and communities, then work together to stop the problem at the source.
Until we tackle the pain surrounding the bullies themselves, the broader problem will continue to escalate. If you have not read my post Bullies. “their not even human”, please do. We must put our arms around these bullies. There is no other way.
I ask you honestly. Can we not see that bullied kids are a symptom of something broken? Something larger? Something deeper? The only people that can stop the bullying are the bullies. Please get on board with this concept. Do we simply want to act as a triage for those who survive, or do we want to end this crisis?
And why must we be the ones to end this? The answer is simple. We know all too well the voice that bullied kids feel they do not have.
As I go through the gut-wrenching comments from my bullying posts, I am continually overwhelmed. I am heart-broken. Anybody would be.
I am also encouraged.
It turns out the bullied do have a voice. It is you, and it is me. After reading my memoirs, so many of you have replied with your darkest moments and memories about this subject. Yes, you have given a voice to the bullied. A strong, and powerful voice.
And that voice is already being buried. That voice is already being forgotten. That is why I am upset. I apologize. I just wanted to post a video today, but panic is setting in as I see less and less urgency and attention being put on this subject everywhere I look, particularly in the media.
Bullying is an issue, and just like most major issues, the world has shown that it can disagree with it, talk about it, cry about it, be angry about it, and now it is showing that it can quickly forget it and move onto other topics. But… don’t worry. Everybody will scream and shout foul play again, just as soon as another funeral procession passes. As soon as more of our children are dead. As soon as it’s convenient to discuss it.
Let’s not let that happen this time. Today I call on each of you to find a way to personally keep this topic at the top of society’s priority list. Let’s talk about it until we actually see change happen.
If you have a blog, blog about it, and then blog about it again. If you have a Facebook account, write a “note” about it (click here to learn how). If you love making videos, make one about it. If you have a website, dedicate a section to it. If you have a business, find a way to support it. If you have a radio show, a television show, or a newspaper, continue to discuss it. If you have a contact list, send out your thoughts to all you know. If you work in our schools, demand that attention be placed in its proper place. Swarm your PTA meetings. Clog your discussion boards. Overwhelm the media with requests and demands to continue putting their focus on this.
If you have a voice anywhere, use it.
Do not let this issue die. That’s how more kids will end up lying breathless beneath cement slabs.
Please tell me that we, as a society, can do more than just talk about it this time. Please tell me that we, as a society, can actually unite and fix this problem. Are we just talk? Do we just enjoy the drama of the moment? Dear God, I pray not.
I will not let it die. Not while I have a voice. And based on my poll in which 99% of you said that bullying has affected you in some way, I hope you don’t either.
I have made a video (below) called “A voice for the bullied”. Feel free to use it and share it. Please at least watch it. I have taken your voice. I have used your comments. And I hope… I sincerely hope that the voice you have given will spread far enough to keep this issue on the front lines. Maybe if enough people see it, the problem will remain a problem until it’s not a problem anymore. Use this. Or use your own content. But do something.
Maybe you’ve heard the saying, the squeaky wheel gets the grease. Let’s make sure the squeak in this wheel is heard loud and clear for as long as it takes.
Sorry to be angry in my writing today.
I’m sick of the world getting passionate about things, and then days later watching the issue float down the gutter, quick to forget it for tomorrow’s headlines.
Not this time. Not today. Let’s make sure of that.
Dan Pearce, Single Dad Laughing
If you haven’t shared your experiences on SDL with bullying yet, share them here today. Dig down to that place you avoid going and be a voice for the bullied. Your honest words about what you’ve experienced and been through are so crucial to ending this problem. The world needs to see just how big the problem really is.
And others, please comment. Please tell me why society can seemingly focus so much of our attention on the problem, and then quit before we ever work on a solution?
Grrrr. I’m so frustrated. Here’s the video. Please watch it. Please share it.
Thank you to my dear friend Eliza Wren Payne for partnering with me on this. Her music is amazing.