Fortunately as a child, I wasn’t bullied. Yes, teased for being too tall, too skinny, too light; but never teased more than anyone else for being too this, too that. Most importantly, I was never miserable nor did I dread going to school or any after school activities. My friends and classmates didn’t even give me too hard a time that I was a Girl Scout still in high school; long after most girls had stopped. As a side note, we used our cookie sale money to go to Europe (so I think we got the last laugh).
People who bully use their power to control or harm
It was only as an adult that I experience bullying. The store had been opened for about six months and an across-town stationer called to tell me (not ask) to “stop running my ads”. She was highly critical of my slogan and began to question me and my decision to have it. I was shocked….amazed. To this day she still does not speak to me; her loss in my opinion as we actually have similar tastes and could collaborate on some projects.
What if I had cowered that day on the telephone; would the one phone call have turned into many? Soon after the call (in less than a week) she came by the store, I think to confront me again, but this time in person. She was greeted by Issy in my absence. The wonderful Issy can difuse anyone’s anger or misguided intentions, so the two ladies chatted and there were never anymore issues. About a year later her store won an award; I wrote her a congratulations note and she replied with an email of appreciation. That was nice; perhaps she changed or realized intimidation was not good or maybe she just didn’t care about what we are doing; who knows.
With all that I have had happen to me the last few years I don’t have time to be mean to others, plus it’s simply not how I was rasied. If you’ve met Issy you know that I’m still scared of her. I think she would still spank me if I was mean to someone. A daunting task given I’m seven inches and 100 pounds bigger than she is, but we all know that little lady would knock my socks off if she wanted to do so.
No amount of business, or anything else for that matter, is worth getting at the expense of someone else’s detriment. Yes, I believe in being competitive, but that can be friendly. I look at two photographers in town, Critsey Rowe and Kristin Vining; competitors, but still respectful of one another. The same with bakers, Gail Buff of Cheesecake Etc. and Dominica Clementi of Nona’s Sweets. I have never heard one say a cross word about the other. They let their individual talents and strengths speak volumes. They also know there is enough business for everyone.
I remember working in corporate america when a female employee was promoted in a male dominated department. Her tires were slashed, she was followed, racist and sexist notes and drawings were left for her. She was moved; the perpertrators, her co-workers were fired. Some people in the department were mad at her; what? All she was doing was her job. Yes, she was different, but no less qualified. Her skills and work should have been the measure on which she was judged; nothing else. And the men who were fired; they had families to support and then no way to do it. I worked in a small town; surely they had to move to find new jobs. Was what they did really worth the loss of a good job, pensions and having to uproot their families? No good came from these mindless actions.
What about homes where senior citizens are bullied by mean, grown children who serve as caretakers?
Bullying is not confined to just schools.
Parts of our society can be cruel; that makes me sad. It’s senseless.
The movie Bully, demonstrates this from the perspective of middle and high school students. Can you imagine being scared to go to school each day? Scared when your cell phone rings or afraid to check Twitter or Facebook because you know there is hate there? In too many cases our children feel hopeless…helpless to the point of hurting themselves, others or both. Why? Let’s stop this epidemic.
We really encourage all of our blog readers to go see this movie, not alone, but with family, friends and co-workers. As an incentive, anyone who brings in a ticket stub will receive the value of the ticket as a discount on anything in the store. We will also buy $50 worth of tickets for any 501c3 organization who wants to take students (first come, first serve); email us to arrange a pick up time.
We hope the movie, and people simply banding together and talking, means bullying becomes a thing of the past.