Many people including our children today face a harsh world, being flooded with constant images to be perfect. Bullying is often a by-product of seeking perfection in some form, wanting to correct the feelings of powerlessness, inadequacy and not enough.
Our world today is much different from when I came into it in 1979. There may have been an emphasis to express an opinion, but without the platforms with have today with the internet and social media, the damage was muted to the surrounding households, communities and beyond only if media coverage exacerbated an issue.
With the around the clock access to social media, we have a responsibility to be careful about what we say. We cannot just say anything, and without consequences, it is easy too. Unfiltered words bring offense as people become more and more sensitive to the constant barrage of opinions or attacks. It is getting worse and worse crossing from physical bullying to emotional cyberbullying.
Here's why we should care and how we can fix it:
It perpetuates a scarcity mentality
Bullying is a child of fear, along with scarcity, and comparison. Being constantly flooded with images about perfection, peoples' lives, their haves, and the notion of "not enough" becomes a fuel for scarcity with bullying being the tool to provide empowerment.
Don't forget, pictures can lie. And having a mindset of critical thinking or "you never know what's going on," will help to quash any arising thoughts of scarcity. There really is enough.
A great example of this happened to me recently. Another maker in Kansas City decided to change his handbag collection to mirror mine exactly. While I started in 2014, it turns out he started in 2016 and began plagiarizing my work, switching from his collection after seeing mine sometime during 2016, with his 2017 collection a mirror image of my work. Through the grace of our Lord, I recently found out. Plagurisism isn't cool, I've put a lot of hard work into what I do and continue to. After the dust settled I changed my perspective, yes it's not right, but I have my awesome customers, the talent, the designs in my mind, the vision, and powerful "why" I am doing what I am doing, so I believe it will work out. There's no need to retaliate. And what's more, he knows I now know.
It damages us
Where there may be some initial feelings of euphoria from exerting power over another, deep down insecurities will only be rampant. Bullying damages us all in one way or another. We are all connected. Whatever energy that is put out, always comes back. It's the law of attraction.
Our up and coming generations will be our flagships when we depart. Emotional well-being will only help them achieve success in life and for the human race. We are stronger if we work together as a team.
It kills, and is only getting worse
Statistics from bullyingstatistics.org states that:
- Suicide is the third leading cause of death among young people, resulting in about 4,400 deaths per year, according to the CDC. For every suicide among young people, there are at least 100 suicide attempts. Over 14 percent of high school students have considered suicide, and almost 7 percent have attempted it.
- Bully victims are between 2 to 9 times more likely to consider suicide than non-victims, according to studies by Yale University
- A study in Britain found that at least half of suicides among young people are related to bullying
- 10 to 14 year old girls may be at even higher risk for suicide, according to the study above
- According to statistics reported by ABC News, nearly 30 percent of students are either bullies or victims of bullying, and 160,000 kids stay home from school every day because of fear of bullying
We surely have to look at what is happening to make changes that will help our younger generation and us all.
I do what I am can in order to help. Creating pieces of wearable art that are as imperfect as us to show us the beauty in imperfection and the beauty in us. Donating sales to anti-bully charity Stand for the Silent who helps to empower and educate our youth about how bullying affects other people, changing bullies in the process and preventing suicides. And passing on what I have learned in life and soccer skills to the next generation by coaching a U15 & U19 girls soccer team.
"We can fix if we start with otherselves and our households"
Although there are organizations that are trying to make a difference, it really starts with each one of us having a look at ourselves, doing the work we need to in order to be emotionally stable. A spiritual practice, better work-life balance, eating healthy or doing things that rejuvenate our soul.
If a person doesn't feel good about themselves and their circumstances there is a tendency to look over the fence, rather than worrying about what is in their own backyard. Comparisons kill connections, which leads to behavior that is easy to attack another.
We cannot control anyone, only ourselves. And if we took a little time to listen before giving an opinion I think we can begin a change.
I'll leave you with these two notions. There is enough and we are all connected. If we start believing this way, we can make changes in smaller groups, which filter out into the world a little at a time.
Shine your unique light. You are somebody.
If you or anyone is suffering from bullying or worries of life please don't suffer in silence call 1800-273-8255 or visit our Non-Profit page