Bullying has become a hot topic. You can barely turn on the TV or radio without coming across some celebrity lecturing about it. But the attractive lip service doesn’t matter. It’s just noise. A lot of people who were bullied in school are still silent. They’re often ashamed or uncomfortable talking about it. Some people who try to speak out are bullied even more. I am tired of hearing people say the same things over and over. There must be a list of default responses in our cultural repertoire. Maybe it sounds good to say “What you went through makes you stronger.” Maybe it seems helpful to tell someone “You’re a better person because of it.” Those words are empty and generic to me.
Many people have dealt with bullying but there isn’t a platform for open, meaningful discussion. We need to be allowed to share our experiences with brutal honesty. We should encourage it. Going through bullying doesn’t always make you strong. It doesn’t really make you a better person. Some people don’t even survive. Bullying is abuse. We shouldn’t allow such abuse to be seen as acceptable. No one should be telling people that bullying is a necessary–much less positive– part of growing up. It’s great that celebrities are interested but everyone’s going about it in the wrong way. Continue reading