*Don’t miss the video at the end of this post!*
In a recent hazing event at our high school, a young man was left taped to a pole one evening. Fortunately, he wasn’t physically hurt. But I can only imagine how he suffered and may continue to suffer emotionally.
After the smoke cleared, many in the community strongly condemned the action. Incredulously, others waved it off, saying it was just boys having some innocent fun.
I wonder, did those people ask the victim if he was having fun?
And it’s an oxymoron to call something innocent if it is done at the expense of someone else.
If adults won’t stand up against put-downs and harassment, how can we expect our youth to?
Bullying stems from a lack of respect and love, for oneself and for others. I believe it damages both bullied and bullier.
Unfortunately, our family has dealt with bullying in a couple different forms. It’s devastating to the recipient, and it’s effects can last a lifetime.
Everyone is a potential target for bullying, but those who exhibit something obviously different from others or who can’t defend themselves or speak out about it are more susceptible.
That leaves our children with special needs at a much higher risk of being bullied.
The National Center for Educational Statistics reports that in 2013 nearly 1 in 3 students (27.8%) report being bullied during the school year. And children with disabilities were found to be two to three times more likely to be bullied than their nondisabled peers (Marshall, Kendall, Banks & Gover [Eds.], 2009).
Remarkably and Wonderfully Made
Life is too short to waste it tearing others down. We need to teach acceptance and empathy. We need to demonstrate respect. We need to show love. To everyone, not just those we deem worthy. Why?
Because each of us is the undeserved recipient of the greatest love ever offered.
Because each of us is remarkably and wonderfully made by the Author and Perfecter of that love.
In light of those truths, how can we do otherwise than show love and respect to our brothers and sisters.
“I will praise You because I have been remarkably and wonderfully made.” Psalm 139:14
Reflection: Have you ever been bullied? Have you ever been the bully? Please share in the comments. Help us learn from your stories.
Joni Eareckson Tada shared this video presentation by Nick Vujicic on a recent post of hers in observance of October as National Bullying Prevention Month. I knew immediately I needed to share it as well.
Nick Vujicic is an Australian who was born with no arms and legs. He received merciless bullying as a lad, and for several years wanted to end his life. Thankfully, at age 15 Nick realized he was just as remarkably and wonderfully made as his peers and that God created him with a purpose in mind.
A bit over 20 minutes, Nick’s presentation is powerful, moving, and effective. You will not regret watching a single second of it.
Share this video with others, your children, coworkers, other parents, church members. Be informed, and inform, teach, and guide others. Speak out against bullying and demonstrate the reason Christ died for all of us: love.
Yours in grace ≈ Julie
Yours in grace ≈