The first Monday of October gets the ball rolling for World Day of Bullying Prevention. The story goes that in 2007, a teenager started his first day of high school wearing a pink shirt for ‘luck.’ But then he ended up in front of a group of bullies who gave him a hard time for wearing said shirt. Enter two bold youngsters who noticed the ruckus and took a stand. They went home that evening and used their pocket savings to purchase fifty pink shirts. The following day those shirts were distributed and worn by other boys from the school who stood against these bullies. This action snowballed amongst youngsters around the world in no time.
Gordon Campbell, the Premier of British Columbia, trailblazed a path to provincial anti-bullying day in 2007. This blaze continued to spread till 2012, and then the United Nations drew on this story to celebrate anti-bullying campaigns globally. Aren’t we all glad that he wore a pink shirt?
1. Post; Do Not Roast
How can you celebrate this day? Learn to post the minimum without wounding anybody verbally. Even if your opponent is wrong, use polite language to convey your message. A person who has been blackmarked in your book may not inspire the same emotions in everyone else. Be the bigger person. Never respond to bullies in the same manner as them. Instead, record it and report it (but do not support it). A bully will not stop unless they are stopped first.
2. Think Twice Before You Type
Let us expand our thinking on the word ‘think.’
T – Trustworthy, H – Helpful, I – Inspiring, N – Necessary, K – Kind.
Before you press the send button, tick off the above categories. Ask yourself whether you have used the “THINK” principle to send out a message. Be mindful of what you are letting others learn from you. Be a true buddy, not a plain bully. If you feel like it is getting out of hand, speak to a trusted and understanding confidante. Always remember, once it goes on the internet, it stays forever. You catch more flies with honey than with vinegar.
3. Meanness – A Sign of Weakness
There is no such thing as friendly teasing. There are various kinds of bullies; we may not know we are being bullied until we are hit with the aftermath. People can speak ill to you in a friendly tone, and you will likely fail to see the obvious. Speak your mind boldly; it is your right to know, understand, and avoid people who mean nothing but trouble. Keep all lines of communication open and be transparent, no matter where you belong. Do not give the bullies a chance to faze you.
4. EOB (End of Bullying)
Bullying has been in existence as long as humans have been around. It is everywhere. But so is the ability to call bullies out on their behavior because we all possess strong minds. Yes, we do, and if yours is not awake – it is time to wake up and put on some armor. Watch out for bullies and try to find a way to encourage them in the right direction. But never cut them loose if caught bullying – that is no way to teach someone to stop. If they get away once, they become stronger at getting away every single time. End bullying before it ends a life.
In other world news, anti-bullying week 2022, run by the Anti-Bullying Alliance, is set to happen from November 14 to 18 with the simple but effective theme “reach out.” So you know what to do when the bullies strike. Strike back, but with wisdom. And strike while the iron is hot. Reach out; there is always someone willing to be a sounding board while empowering you to be your own savior. You go, boss!