No. 1090



We have a major problem in our society. It is called bullying. This may not be a problem for you, unless of course you happen to be one who is being bullied, or a parent or loved one of someone who is being bullied. This should never happen to any human being, but it does. The faster we get it stopped, the better off it will be, not only for the individual but for society as a whole.
What inspired me to write this column is something I read on Facebook a while back. This was written by someone who was making a special request for students who were starting back to school, especially new students who were in unfamiliar surroundings and, at this point, did not have any friends. Please allow me to share this request with you. I would like to make some additional comments later. I might add, bullying is something that not only happens to young people who move to a new school, but it is a problem throughout the year in a multitude of settings. I will say more about this in a moment.
This request begins, and I suspect these are the words of a mother: “If you see someone who is struggling to make friends or being bullied because he/she doesn’t have many friends or because they are shy or not as pretty or not dressed in the most ‘in’ clothes – please step up. Say ‘hi,’ or at least smile at them in the hallway. You never know what that person may be facing outside of school. Your kindness might just make a BIG difference in someone’s life. Parents and grandparents should repost this.”
Now, granted, what this person is asking is not something that is earth shattering, but it will make a positive difference in other people’s lives, and is something we should all be interested in doing. I would just add, if you have children or grandchildren in school, take a few minutes to talk with them about the subject of bullying. Make sure they understand that this is wrong and they should not be involved. Rather, be one who does smile, says “hi” in the hallway and makes new people welcome.
In addition to what I have just shared, I am sure you know that bullying takes place in many different ways and settings in our society, and it is not just physical but mental and spiritual as well. The dictionary says a “bully” is a “swaggering, quarrelsome, usually cowardly person who terrorizes weaker people.”
In my personal experience, I have found that a bully is usually a little older than the one they are bullying. A good example took place in the small town where I grew up, back in the early 1950s, when I was in junior high school. Our town had this boy who was a little older than those he ran around with, and he bullied a number of younger boys. I was one of them. This went on for some time, and I was terrified to even be around him. One day a group of us boys were playing football on the church lawn. On one play this bully had the ball, and I hit him so hard that his teeth rattled, and I am pleased to say that he never bullied me again.
Later in high school, another older boy always wanted me to put on boxing gloves and box him. One day I could not get out of it, so I put on the gloves with him. I am sure it was just a lucky punch, but I cold-cocked him, and he, too, never bullied me again.
To be sure, there will always be tyrants and bullies in the world, but we don’t have to be one of them, and neither do our children and grandchildren. I hope you will also try to make a difference, by passing along this request.
(Editor’s Note: Bookcase for Every Child – Changing Lives & Futures – ONE AT A TIME. Please visit our website: