As Winter break comes to a close and those who are in school return to classes and cliques, I think it’s important to discuss the effects of an insidious phenomenon: bullying. We are raised to believe bullying is an unavoidable part of growing up. Bullies have always existed and always will exist; problem is, that is a self-created reality. We create bullies, and we choose to be bullies. It’s possible to choose otherwise.
In kids’ movies it’s easy to identify the bully as a villain. Afterall, that’s how kids view bullies. As adults, however, we recognize that a bully is a kid in pain; a kid who is probably emulating behavior he sees at home. It’s on us to stop acting racist, xenophobic, homophobic, sexist, petty, and just plain mean. Until we do, the children and teens in our lives will pick up those behaviors and bring them to school with them. This essay by a young woman named Jasminder outlines in painful clarity the lifelong effects bullying can have on a person–but it also demonstrates the resilience and power that survivors can use to heal.
If you know a bully, are a bully, or have ever been bullied, this story is for you.
Jasminder is a self-declared philosopher, crafter, college student, and full-time dream-chaser. When not tripping down the rabbit hole, she can be found sipping herbal tea, dancing around her bedroom, and finding new ways to love her life.