All the way from kids to adults there are always those people who do not think of anyone else's feelings but their own. You have seen them, heck you might be one of them. Why is it so important to the bully's of this world, that other people feel like outcasts? I want to take just a minute and explore this.
I knew a guy in high-school who fit this description perfectly. He wasn't a bad guy to be around when he wasn't on a roll. He wasn't the most popular guy around, and he was active in his church. There were a bunch of guys that he hung around with that were all "pretty normal guys". In the group there was this one kid that was "different". He wasn't as polished as the other guys were when it came to being social. He was clumsy. He seemed to be the one that was always making the "dumb mistake". His looks were different, and he just didn't have the tools to stand up for himself very well. He was an easy target. People say that boys will be boys,or girls will be girls. What does that mean. In this case I guess it meant that the easy target was fair game. The only group this particular socially inept guy had to hang with were these particular guys.
Everyone in the group had goals. They all wanted to attain the rank of Eagle Scout, and they all wanted to serve actively in their church. Some were a year older than the others, but that didn't seem to matter. We'll call the socially inept kid Robbie and the one guy I remember really well, will be Charlie. I don't think Charlie consciously tried to make Robbie's life miserable, but whenever there was an opportunity to make him look dumb he took his best shot. He didn't hang around with Robbie one on one, but some of the other guys in the group did. As their teenage years went forward the group of boys grew. Still, Robbie took the brunt of the teasing and Charlie was always a part of, or responsible for the abuse. I don't think he really thought much about it until one by one all of his other buddies left the area. Charlie had goals to go and serve his church for a couple of years, and as high-school ended those dreams drew closer. As he began to prepare I started to see him change. He started to regret what he had done to Robbie over the years, and tried to make amends by doing things with him. All of the guys that Charlie grew up with attained the rank of Eagle Scout, except Robbie. All of the guys also either fulfilled their goals or created new ones and were pretty successful. All that is, except Robbie. Charlie kept track of him as well as he could and was never happy with his findings. Robbie's life had one roadblock after another, and finally his marriage ended in divorce, and he secluded himself pretty much from society.
I've often wondered how Robbie would have turned out if Charlie had given him the breaks and true friendship he needed? The point is, we will never know. It is history. To often today I see the same scenarios playing out in the lives of children. I was a school teacher for 20 years and I always remembered my youth. I did what I could to be a buffer for the Robbie's that I saw. What causes kids to be mean? Is it a bad childhood, a low self esteem, a need for power and popularity? Maybe it is a way to make the perpetrators feel better about themselves, by making someone else the center of negative attention. There is quite a bit of speculation on this point.
I believe the main reason for bullying is that kids don't want to, or don't have the capacity to explore, or recognize the long-term consequences of their actions. If they could truly understand what the future could bring, not only into their own lives, but the lives of others, they would change. The rest of this article will give all of us a glimpse of the effects of bullying in some real situations. Don't ever believe that these things cannot, or won't happen to you!
Bullying is a word that has been around for a long time. The term has been revived in the last 10 years or so. History shows us some of the consequences of this action.
Found on Footnote.com
In 1883 Chicago, bullying was certainly an issue, but it wouldn't be until 1999 that the issue of bullying moved up the ladder of importance! It would take something big to catapult it forward in the public's eye!
Found on Footnote.com
After this tragedy America woke up. There were articles posted, laws passed and a lot was done through conflict management programs to curtail this horrid practice. However, as technology continued to expand so have the opportunities for new types of bullying. Now those who were physically limited could also cause havoc in a silent way through the INTERNET.
Who are the victims caused by tragedies such as Columbine. They are not confined to the incident itself, but instead, the tentacles reach out in so many directions that it is almost impossible to count them all. History changes, and with it we won't ever see what could have been if the bullying had never taken place.
According to PENN STATE RESEARCH bullying can lead to suicide. This is a tragic end to a life that will never be lived. Accomplishments that could have helped society and possibly even the individuals that pushed the victim over the edge, will never come to pass. Those who caused the event will be changed - forever. Those who have been left behind will mourn their loss - forever. Can any good come out of this fatal event? I'm sure some will, but it will never compensate for what could, or would have been
The following is just such an account. The incident involves a teenage boy who's picture looks like someone all of us know. His family is still struggling with the aftermath, and will continue to for the rest of their lives. The bully's in this case will never forget their part in this tragedy. It will affect them for the rest of their lives. The worst of it is, that the world was robbed of this boy's story. Consider this as the consequences of bullying. From this disregard of respect comes the story of A LIFE LOST.
I have a confession to make. I am Charlie from the story in the beginning. I am responsible for the way I treated and bullied Robbie. I will never forget that. There is nothing I can do to change what happened. That part of history is over. I look at the face of this boy and I see Robbie. He looks happy and full of life. We will never know what he might have accomplished in his life because it is gone. I'm not a bad person and I don't know what caused me to be a heartless teenager with Robbie. I do know that because of the age I was at, I never looked at what the consequences of my behavior might come to. Had I known, I believe it would have made a difference. Good things have come from my particular situation, but they can never compensate for my failures with Robbie. This will always be with me. If I could say anything to other kids out there who can relate to this, I would say, take a good look at this article. You can learn from history. I am fortunate now to work for the internet history site Footnote.com. I can read about past events and take life's lessons from them. Bullying has never been good. The bad consequences from it are innumerable. Some people are under the impression that they will be better from the experience. That is a lie as illustrated above. If you get nothing else from all of this, please remember the following truth.
Don't ever let anyone tell you that the best thing you can do is to learn from your mistakes. They will tell you it will make you a stronger person. It is true that to learn from your mistakes as I have is good. However, the best thing you can do is to avoid making the mistake in the first place. Learn from others! Learn from me. You will be a much stronger person than the one that makes the mistake, and you will be able to be the best that you can be. We can only lift people as high as we are in life.
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
Posted by The History Man at 3:01 PM