From the ages of 10 to 15 I was bullied almost every day.
I was an easy target: fat, wheezy, and a smart-ass. I would dread going to school. In order to skip class, I would fake asthma attacks, but the bullying itself became so bad that I actually did get asthma attacks, triggered by the stress of having to face the abuse at the schoolyard. Those years sucked.
Thankfully, that phase has passed, but I can still sniff out an uncomfortably familiar odor in the air today.
There’s a pervasive meanness, hate, and soul-crushing afoot. It’s in our in-person dynamics, but it has really blown up thanks to the online spaces where people can hide behind their avatar’s mask.
You don’t have to look far for a perfect example. Look atthe reaction Coca-Cola’s Super Bowl ad received. It’s a nice (even beautiful) commercial that has an underlining message of unity and tolerance, but, of course, the bullies of the world didn’t see that. They let on an onslaught of bile against it. Like hyenas, they tried to rip it to shreds and take every ounce of value out of it. (If you are like me and are shocked by all of this, that makes me happy. That means you have not been desensitized to the horrendous roar, and that’s a good thing, because that means you still have what’s needed most today: empathy.)
Bullying, put simply, is when someone takes the value and power away from someone else by force. Bullying is when someone makes someone else feel less-than: less-than yesterday, less-than everybody else, less-than human. By crushing our sense of worth, the bullies rule over us.
Full post at Though Catalog