Welcome! This blog is written by author J.L. Metcalf and will chat about comics, movies, garden gnomes, ghosts or even books and daily life. It is a place where I offer my ladylike perspective on anything and everything my brain can think of.
Bullying. I chose this topic for my blog today because I watched a video.
This doesn’t sound all that impressive, I mean, we all watch video’s all the time on the internet. It’s one of my favorite ways to waste time! Today was different though, I started watching this video about this boy who was bullied but then, he somehow turned everything around by doing one simple act of kindness. I’ll get to what his response was in a moment, but first I want to address the topic of bullying.
It’s something we are all familiar with, either it’s something we lived through in school or, if you are a parent, you have to deal with currently. Whether you are the bully or the one being bullied, it is, to me, a crime. When I was a kid, bullying meant people called you horrible names, maybe scrawled something on your locker (or, in one particularly memorable case, the bullies stole money out of my locker) and they definitely harassed you at every given opportunity. I was bullied constantly when I was a kid, Junior High was the worst for me. I was lonely, sad and even though I had friends who did their best to support me, the bullying crushed me every single day. It exhausted me and I remember crying every night that I had to go back there. Eventually, it did taper off but it never vanished completely. High School was only marginally better. Or, at least, I began to be proud of who I was, so the bullying didn’t bother me as much.
The fact is, kids today have it way harder than we ever did. Kids today don’t just get bullied at school. They get bullied on social media; Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc, the bullying goes home with them. There are constant reports of kids, KIDS, killing themselves because the bullying is just too much for them. It breaks my heart to hear it because if only they could see the future, they’d see that outside of school, bullying means nothing. Your life will get better. Mine did.
It’s also true that women get bullied in the comic book and gamer world. It’s defined as sexism but it’s bullying just the same. Women (and the men who support them) are taunted online, called cruel and unfair names. The most recent example of this is of course, Gamergate, where a woman was harassed to the point of having to leave her home out of fear for her well-being. The sad fact is that bullying does continue into adulthood, but as adults we have better tools to handle it (hopefully). Kids simply don’t. They do not have the perspective to realized that this moment in time is only a moment, that it too shall pass.
But I digress, what started this post was a simple, but powerful, video (that you can watch at the end of this post). A young man was being bullied. He had recently lost his father and moved to a new town. He was quiet, reserved, in mourning and different. The kids ripped pictures out of his locker of his deceased father. The boy felt invisible and realized he didn’t want to be anymore. He finally couldn’t take it anymore. Instead of fighting back with anger or cynicism he did the most simple thing you can think of. He began holding doors for other students. Yep. You read that right, he became a doorman. He also became Prom King.
What amazes me is that at first, the other students mocked him, made fun of him and were confused by this act of simple kindness but, as the voiceover in the video suggests, soon the kids began to look forward to seeing this young man in the morning. A big smile, a hello and an open door for them. The other kids enjoyed it so much and were so grateful for his kindness, they voted him Prom King as a way to say thank you. It’s an amazing and uplifting story on how sometimes, you can combat hatred with kindness and come out on top.
It’s so simple, yet so powerful. It inspired other acts of kindness throughout the school and it turned this young man onto the idea of public speaking, to advocate for the bullied, the sad, the loners. To help them see that being courageous doesn’t mean screaming to be heard, being courageous can simply mean doing a small act of kindness for someone else. Holding a door open, smiling or even just making eye contact. It’s a powerful message. It is also one that everyone needs to hear and it is why I share it here today.
Share the love, share the kindness. We adults have a thing or two we can still learn from kids.
What about you? Have you been the victim of bullying (when you were a kid or an adult)?
How did you handle it?