A Voice of the Bullied

Often we read headlines in the daily papers of teens that have committed suicide because of bullying. We read that they had been ostracised, made fun of, that they had been rejected. What we do not hear is their own voice as their voice has been silenced twice over: by the bullies, and by themselves as they followed through on the decision to remain silent forever.

Below is a video by Shane Koyczan that puts a voice to the bullied, a video that encapsulates the emotion and experience of the bullied. It is a video that suggests the repercussions of being bullied.

This anti-bullying video ends with the message that we all have within ourselves something beautiful that can be shared with others. All we have to do is believe this – and own the belief.

I find the message in this video powerful. Will those who are being bullied listen, and believe, the words that are being said? I cannot say. What I can say is that I hope messages like this are heard more often so that we can become more aware of bullying and its detrimental effects.

What are your thoughts on this video?

Advertisements

26 thoughts on “A Voice of the Bullied

  1. I believe bullies act by examples set at home, a reaction as a result of feeling or being made to feel inferior in an atmosphere of poor upbringing (raising vs brought up).

    Like

    1. As you suggest, the bullies themselves may be crying out for attention themselves. Their behaviour, though, does have far-reaching repercussions both for the bullied and the bully themselves.

      Like

  2. While I don’t condone bullying (and fervently wish that we would learn to get along and embrace our diversity), there is another common element to these suicides that seems to be overlooked when we rush to place blame on others for “causing” the suicides.

    And that is our excessive concern with what others think of us.

    We are trained from birth to look outside ourselves for acceptance from our peers. We are socialized to “dress for success” and buy symbols to signal our “status” to the world. We judge people based on the cars they drive, the houses they live in, the churches they attend, their sexual preferences, and the clothes they wear . . . and they repay the favor by judging us.

    To read more:
    http://nrhatch.wordpress.com/2010/10/17/suicide-for-all-the-wrong-reasons/

    Like

    1. And it is both the bully and the bullied who believe what the media, and our peers, suggest is the “perfect” person. To add I feel the focus should be on teaching our children (our own and those in society in general) to have a greater self-esteem, and to be our own people. Not all those that are bullied commit suicide. Is this because they have internalised a coping mechanism that they have sub-consciously learned? I would like to hope so.

      Like

  3. I wrote about bullying this morning as well. I personally believe that we can end bullying by empowering children and developing their self worth rather than focusing on the bully. Bullies won’t go away until they have no victims.

    Like

    1. I agree with you there. If one has a high self-esteem, it does not matter what others say to/about us. We do need to learn how to cope with bullies as we find them even in adulthood and in the workplace.

      Like

  4. Wow, Colline. That is a powerful spoken word poem. Thanks for sharing this. Everyone should hear the work of Shane Koyczan. This, I will forward and pass along.

    All of us have been affected by the hateful words of others. Some of us have experienced much more and some of us are more greatly affected by it. I agree with Shane that depression is more a result of the conditions we find ourselves in paired with a lack of support rather than biological chemical imbalances alone.

    Some seem to have a greater likelihood of experiencing a depressive episode. These are often labelled the sensitive or fragile people. They are often the kindest as well. And, some would call them ‘freaks’.

    And while ‘freak’ is a pejorative to many, to me it is…. beauty.

    Like

  5. I wasn’t bullied as child, but I never felt like I fit in much until I went to college. That’s when I found people who liked me for me. And once I became comfortable with myself, everything changed. I feel for those who are bullied. I hope they see their inner beauty and power and realize that only they can define who they are. Not others.

    Like

  6. I found out, just this past month…that my 30 year old son had been bullied in high school….This definitely cleared up a bit of the mystery surrounding some of the career choices he has made…jobs that are very dangerous and simply by virtue of that one characteristic would silence anyone who would question a mans bravery or strength….a job that says…”I’m tougher than you…..don’t cross me”…..I can’t tell you how saddened I am to find out now…years later and to know that I wasn’t able to help him…he buried it deep and never, ever let anyone know….

    I think that, even though we feel that people should look within and recognize and own our beliefs and be happy with who we are…so much of this happens in the formative years, years of uncertainty, finding our way to who we are, and if the child is or a sensitive nature, it is very hard
    for them to find confidence and the strength to not believe what bully’s say to them……our “culture” fuels the bullying, I do believe, and we have too many parents who don’t know how to parent…or don’t want to be bothered with taking the time to parent…and we all suffer for this.

    Like

    1. Thank you for sharing your son’s story with us Suzanne. What it does is that it tells us, once again, that bullying does affect us. It is very difficult for the child, in the moment, to look in themselves and be happy with who they are. This is where those who spend a lot of time with the children can help. As a teacher, this is one of the things I try to be aware of. I listen to what the children are saying, I look at the body language exhibited. And I try to always be there if the child wants to talk. All it takes is one person, I believe, who is willing to really listen that can begin the help that a bullied child needs…. but then I may be too naive.

      Like

      1. NO…I don’t think you’re naive at all…..It’s a blessing for all of the children who have you as a teacher, to have someone who is paying attention and being aware….when my son was two, I had twins….they are TALKERS!…The more they talked, the more he withdrew…he takes a long time to warm up to having a conversation, so I would stay up late with him after the twins would go to bed…hoping for a conversation…sometimes we did talk, but obviously, he never opened up about this problem…it breaks my heart….because it changed all of our lives…he moved far away in order to do the work he does, and I see him once a year….I wish and wish that I could have picked up the signs….reached him in some way…bullying breaks more hearts than one.

        Like

        1. Yes it does: the moms and dads, the siblings, and the future spouse. Hearing your story will make me even more diligent – and to speak of my concern to the parent. As you suggest, moms don’t always know.

          Like

  7. Colline, bullies dont listen nor understand the repercussions of their actions, it is when they get older and face society and are ostracised by their peers for misconduct that the chinks start to appear in their armour, some then turn to antisocial behaviour and some bully their way to the tops of corporates where they continue their bullying lifestyle, some bully their way through marriages and then the chinks again widen as domestic spousal abuse emerges, you only have to see a few high profile names and see the scenario unfolding in their domestic life.
    Cheers
    Ian aka Emu

    Like

    1. There is a group in this part of the world that believes that bullies act the way they do because they are tormented, bullied themselves at home, etc. At the schools (the one I work at anyway), they are trying to make the bully aware of their action. Are they succeeding? With the hardcore bully I am not so sure – but with those on the fence, maybe. It is a pattern that is hard to break – especially as bullying can be so insidious these days with the use of social media as a tool.

      Like

Share what you think

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s