Last month a rather peculiar incident was witnessed by my son. He’d forgotten to sign out of his system at school, and a couple of students from next period, put some inappropriate stuff on his page. His teachers found who they were and made them apologize. So, his lesson to take home was to wrap up properly. Thanks to his teachers, this innocuous incident was dealt with firmly yet swiftly! But that has evoked many thoughts, innumerable instances that prompted some unfortunate incidents if not appropriately addressed! The vile, spiteful events that repeat every so often in the form of bullying and go unreported or unaddressed is a threat!
Bullying, a word that needs enough highlighting to be wiped off the human dictionary! When it comes to the choices of schools, as a parent, my priority is for zero-tolerance towards bullying, not those schools that can make my children robots and Wikipedia. This bullying does not pertain just to schools or younger children. Silent suffering leads to depression and mental illness. We should nip it in the bud to eradicate it, just as we did with smallpox and polio. This thought of standing up for yourself should be sown in kids’ minds by parents, teachers, caretakers, and counselors, at the embryonic stage. In this modern era, schools play a pivotal role in this process. Pain should neither be ignored nor subdued but dealt with properly. The cognitive brain should realise the pain has disappeared totally.
Going back to my son’s middle school incident, he showed me this letter written by his seniors. I’m in awe of his teachers. I’m more in awe of these students who owned the mistake. They demonstrated the true meaning of ‘apologising. Teachers should be passionate about the role they play in designing every kid’s life. They lay the foundation for a better tomorrow. Kids raised with self-respect and receive support to address any pain inflicted emerge as confident and more assertive adults. In this particular instance, I’m overjoyed to see how teachers channelized these students who attempt mischievous acts without realising the repercussions nor intended to hurt one child. It’s an act at the spur of the moment. There will be some unruly kids that aim and target one particular individual only because they appear vulnerable. Hence, we need to weave human relations to act as a cushion to raise a harmonious society. We need to be caring and empathetic. Schools, caretakers, and parents should act as solid anchor points. We don’t have to be perfect at everything and anything. As much as kids should be taught to accept failures, they must be trained to handle success too.
Kids who are shy and introverts when bullied and constantly shunned, are forced to believe they are born to suffer and aren’t lucky! Lucky or not, no one has the right to bully others. Everyone is equally equal. Way back in the early ’90s, my sister’s friends did a horoscopes and scientific relations project. They came up with lots of predictions; one was, “you are lucky but never happy”. I could never comprehend that until I hit adulthood. Now, when I entered the era of quadragenarian, I have realised you may be lucky and not happy. But you can choose to be happy even if not fortunate”! Self-confidence and self-respect are the DNA blocks for a healthy life. No one has the right to hurt others. The importance of social manners must be imbibed to kids too.
Bullying has no religion, nor limited to races. We see one or two spikes when specific incidents get reported. But it’s prevalent everywhere. Google Wiki says, ” About one person in 5,000–15,000 dies by suicide every year (1.4% of all deaths), with a reported global rate of 10.7 per 100,000 population in 2015 (was 11.6 in 2008).” To curb this, we need human relations; every school needs counsellors, every citizen must act as a soldier bringing bullying down at the bud stage. I’ve been an agony aunt for many of my friends/acquaintances. But there is no human chain that keeps this going. We get busy, and we get consumed by our desires and careers.
All we need is to do, ask anyone who is quiet or appearing disconnected or who always active or anyone we see, ” how are you today?” Everyone must do their bit before bullying, or other selfish motives consume us all.