How y’all doing?
We have been talking about Taking Responsibility for your Actions and Thinking Before You Act.
Today, we are moving on to another interesting topic. As an introduction, I’d like to start us off with this story. By the time I’m done, you might have guessed what the topic is already.
A Couple Of Years Back
I remember having a snack break one school day. After consuming my snack, I made my way to a nearby bin to dispose of my rubbish/ litter (I love my environment – I don’t like to litter). On my way to it, I caught a glimpse of a number of girls (my agemates) at the edge of the field close to my destination. They had surrounded a much younger girl in a way that I didn’t feel so comfortable with. But as I am someone who likes to mind her business and so as to not be misinterpreting their behavior, I continued towards the bin.
Upon reaching the bin, I pressed the clutch with my foot to open it and disposed of my trash. Getting ready to head back to class, I was about to let go of the clutch when I heard a voice saying behind me: “Hang on. Could you please hold it open?.”
I had no idea who asked or why but I let my foot press down the clutch a little bit longer. I then turned my upper body to find out who it was. When I did, I saw the same group of girls carrying the little girl between them and trying to put her into the bin!
Out of shock, I let go of the clutch thus closing the bin in the process. I asked what they were trying to do – only to get a response that it was none of my business. It was either I opened the bin or I left the premises. I stuck with the latter but with the intent of reporting what I just witnessed.
After reporting to the right authorities, I rushed back with them to the “crime scene”. All this took a matter of seconds because I am pretty fast with my feet. When we arrive at the scene, the girls scattered but in the end, with my help, we were able to round up the culprits. The little girl and I were asked to accompany them for the investigation process.
Upon arrival at a nearby classroom, they began to interrogate the people present in order to find out what happened and why it did. Every new questioning seemed to label me as innocent. But when it got to the little girl’s turn, she outrightly accused me of being an accomplice – all because I opened the bin. Therefore, as she was the victim, it was assumed that she was right and a report was sent home before I was. Hence, I returned to my household to meet my very angry mother waiting with punishment ready to be served as lunch. It’s also a day my buttocks and I can never forget.
However, the next morning, I was in for a big surprise. I awoke to see a very apologetic mother. She was sorry for the way she reacted the day before. It wasn’t fair to me, she said. She should have asked for my version of what happened. So that was what she did and I narrated the happenings from my point of view.
The next thing I know, she followed me to school and headed straight to the principal’s office. She then demanded to know why false reports were given about her ward without a proper investigation being done. She later told me she was so angry that everyone was concerned for the teacher who gave the report. And so, another investigation was carried out but this time around, I was proven innocent by other eye witnesses.
Supposing I had been someone who tends to tell a lot of lies to get out of trouble, my mother would not have found it easy to believe my version of the story. This is because my credibility would have been questionable. But because I had created a reputation for myself as truthful no matter the consequences, the credibility of my words was assured in a way. Hence, she was willing to be my defense attorney.
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That brings us to our topic for today – Bullying. Let me know if your guess after reading the story was right. So let’s get on with it.
Who is a bully?
A bully can be defined as:
- An uncultured, aggressive, rude, noisy troublemaker
- A person who deliberately intimidates or is cruel to weaker people
Whether jokingly or not, when your deliberate action makes someone else feel intimidated, you can easily be classified as a bully.
Hence, to bully means to:
- Discourage or frighten with threats or a domineering manner; intimidate
Just like some of you, I was shocked to find out discouraging others can be termed as a mild form of bullying. I later found out that it also enables bullying to be classified as a form of abuse. This particular point falls under verbal abuse.
- Be bossy towards someone else
When I found this criteria of bullies, I immediately thought – THEN ALL ELDER SIBLINGS WITH A BOSSY ATTITUDE are bullies. However, I also realized that I was also a culprit of it as well. I occasionally used to lord over my cousins just because I was their senior. But never really considered it to be bullying because I assumed it was my right.
Causes of Bullying
Why do people bully? What do they find satisfying about it? There are varied reasons why people often bully their neighbors. Some do it in an attempt to exercise their superiority in age and level (perhaps educational). Others just do so because the bullied party is different from what they are used to. They look, behave, or perhaps ‘smell’ differently.
Sometimes, though, the urge to bully others is fueled by jealousy – you are envious that they represent something you can never be. So you decide that if you can’t benefit from that, they shouldn’t as well. Hence, you take that light away from them with your reckless behavior before they get to realize what a gem they are.
Another common reason is many teens like to follow the crowd lest they become an additional victim of its jeering and leering. Yet when the ‘crowd’ has to face the music for its actions, they want out. Well, that’s not how things work.
In the next episode, we will go further into more reasons why peple bully and the Consequences of Bullying.
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