We are a nation of bullies. It’s human nature, the instinct to assert dominance. We bash the candidates for presidencies in campaign smearing advertisements. We even harass homosexuals and bisexuals for being attracted to the same gender. But we contradict ourselves by joining groups that support anti-bullying each day. In the act of even preventing bullying we mess up and become the bullies of those who bully. That’s a contradiction in itself.
That’s a problem, but can this nation repair it? The answer is: maybe, but first thing that is needed is compassion and tolerance. For both the bully and the anti-bully, compassion is needed. The bully, though, needs to be taught tolerance. There is no need for the anti-bully to force it on them. Lead by example, in other words.
Punishment should only be reserved for the most severe of cases. Like those involving violence, for instance the Sharon Velasquez incident. It was a problem that caused her to take her own life. She was accused of another bullying towards another girl. That girl took her life before Sharon did.
But the reason that Sharon took her life was because of the so-called “anti”-bully vigilantes put up a website that made her look absolutely horrible and made it out to be just her fault. This site ignored the fact that she wasn’t a big part of the bullying problem. IT also gave her phone number and home address along with other personal information that allowed people to lash out at her.
Because of that, they did, and an endless stream of phone calls that threatened her had life erupted. A numerous amount of harassing letters calling for her death arrived at her home in massive quantities. It all became too much for Sharon to take and, sadly, they got their wish.
Everyone can learn from this example of a bully gone victim. Even the greatest of people can be a bully, no matter if they have the best of intentions or maybe that’s not even the case. Some people even use the excuse that they are merely trying to stop bullying to be a bully themselves. But even so, a small amount of compassion can go a long way. If it is applied then maybe this nation can solve this problem. All we need is a start, and then maybe this nation can become one of tolerance.
-Written by: Sean Eric Baker, Staff Writer