Anti-Bullying week And Bullies
Last week was anti bullying week! It was an interesting week with a campaign launch almost as a direct response to the death of Amanda Todd. It is great to see people working towards reducing bully with some big names behind the campaign ( facebook, family channel and many more). It was another pledge campaign ( blagh) I am personally not a fan of them, but they do give people actions that might help them deal with bullying. It just seems like we need to be doing so much more, and its hard to remember a pledge when you are watching a bully pick on someone and knowing that if you intervene you might be next. So i am hoping that this campaign can help us move in the right direction. Part of me worries though that this campaign is a knee-jerk reaction to a horrible event. Research shows that campaigns that follow horrible events don’t always have the best follow thru. An article I read indicated that they tend to follow this pattern:
Something horrible happens –>Shit! LETS THROW MONEY AT A CAMPAIGN TO MAKE SURE IT DOESNT HAPPEN AGAIN –>As time passes people go back to putting other fires and dont really monitor the campaign –>Eventually it dies, having half original desired effect.
My solution? Usually there are charities and awesome people who work in this field every day and my hope is that we start partnering with more charities that are doing this work 365 days a year who will keep doing it even when there is not a tragedy. We, also, need to empower kids more to take reducing bullying into their own hands and provide them with the navigation information to connect both the bullied and bullies with people who can help them. Using facebook to help prevent bullying is a great idea but much more is needed.
On a similar note, this week was great for me from a job perspective! I started working with an amazing charity called yourlifecounts.org, as a spokesperson as well as working part time at York university as a research assistant. I already work with the amazing Mobilizing Minds crew and Mindyourmind! I am so happy that I get to fill my life with work thats rewarding for me. I was also on CTV national http://www.ctvnews.ca/video?clipId=806893&playlistId=1.1037886&binId=1.810401 and CTV Toronto this week http://www.ctvnews.ca/video?clipId=806893&playlistId=1.1037886&binId=1.810401 .
This week was also a hard week for me. I have never spoke about bullying in public before. I always feel like my experiences do not warrant the attention I have been getting. Talking about bullying made that worse, because I never felt I was bullied to an extreme like Amanda Todd was. However, I did field my share of negative comments. I was scared to talk about bullying for the fear that someone say you were not that bullied ( which they did). However, I had to remember what I tell people who confide in me for help, it does not always matter if someone else recognizes your experience, no one knows it better than you do. So, for those who made fun of my weight, my habit of picking my face or my social awkwardness, it was bullying, even if they don’t think so. In with this logic, however, I was also a bully, gossiping about others and making fun of them just to increase my own social status. For that I am forever sorry, but also understand the reaction of ” i wasn’t that bad was i?” because we have a hard time seeing how our behaviors can affect others. One small comment we forgot even said can affect someone forever. Every day, I work to try and be positive to others and fight my urge to put others down to make myself feel better.
That being said, I have been feeling kind of down lately. Sorry for the lack of posts!