It does not matter what these children have done. We must love them. I am pleading with you to love these children. I could give my everything to tell you why that’s so important. But, I think that again, I will turn to words that have been shared just yesterday in the comments of the bullying post. These words are not from parents, and they are not from the bullied. These words are from the bully himself, and are more powerful than anything I could write today.
“hi, i am 14 years old and i read your whole writing about bullies and i want to tell you right now that its hard to say but i am a bully. i am reading youre story and it hit me so hard because i thought what i do was so funny and now i can see the pain i am causing to others, specialy to a guy named ______ at my school htat i have been real mean too for years. i am going to do some thing good for once and tomroorw i am going to say that i am sorry and promise never do it again. it is going to be hard but you make me see i have to do it. i think your so right about a lot of things. but one thing your the most right about is that i wish more then anything for some body at school to really like me to. i have a mom and dad who arent mean or any thing but at school nobody cares and nobody will ever even talk to me. i think i am a bully because it makes me feel like theres a reason nobody cares or even knows i exsist and thats hard to say but mabee its true.
i just dont know how to stop it til i read your writing and now it is some thing i have to do and i promise i will do it because i am tired of it to. i am tired of people hating me and its because of what i am doing now i know that. i need some good friends and mabee by stopping some one will be my friedn at school. thank you for what you say here. i hope some day i can do some thing big and be a good person and when i read your writing i see you believe it so thank you because thats some thing i need to here right now.”
“their not even human.”
Sigh. If this 14-year-old child can get beneath his pride long enough to make a change, why can’t we? Why can’t we let go of the past and focus only on the future? Why can’t we look at every other human being and simply see worth?
Put your arms around the bullies. Please. They are just as valuable as you or me.
I agree, there are extremes when the bullying goes beyond its definition and becomes criminal. There are times when a child has problems due to mental or social disorders. Those situations need to be dealt with in their own way and with the proper authorities. But we’re not talking about those extremes. What I am discussing is every day, common, hurtful bullying, and how we can put a stop to it.
We must love the bullies.
I can promise you this. There is not a person on earth who would rather receive harsh words and pointed attacks instead of statements of true concern and affirmation. Think about it.
Telling a person that he is stupid will never arouse him to harness his true potential. Telling him he is intelligent will.
Telling a person that she is fat will never motivate her to lose weight out of love for herself. Telling her she is beautiful will.
Telling a person that she is weak and powerless will never allow her to behave with valiancy. Telling her she is strong will.
Telling a bully that he has no feelings and is nothing but a mean, angry person, will never stop his bullying. Believing in him will.
Loving him will.
Please. Tell me you don’t believe “their not even human”. Please tell me you don’t.
Love must happen, because mowing the bully over is not the answer. You know it’s not. I know it’s not.
Dan Pearce, Single Dad Laughing
PS. I’d love your comments on today’s post.
And, to all of you in in our education system who have asked… please feel free to use these works in your endeavors to better the situations in your schools. While properly citing a work’s origin is always a must, consider this your official permission to use it at your discretion in your schools and programs.
FOLLOW UP (10/11/10): Today I posted a follow up to this post called What should the bullied do?. After hearing so many of your responses to both this and the last bullying post, I felt a great need to clarify a few things. Hopefully after reading all three you will understand that it is not the bullied I am asking to put their arms around the bullies. And hopefully you will understand why.