Life is a ﬁght, but not everyone’s a ﬁghter. Otherwise, bullies would be an endangered species. --- Andrew Vachss, Terminal
All day I've been frustrated, my internal pressure cooker building up steam by the hour because I felt helpless to let out that anger, could not express my feelings, had no outlet.
Oddly enough, I read my horoscope just before settling in to write this blog, and it said, You need to defend your beliefs today---maybe quite a few times! It's not that hard, but it can get tiring, so make sure that you have resources you can draw on to recharge your energy.
I believe in signs, so I took that as a sign that I'd find that resource to face my feelings enough to speak of them. And I did.
What I want to talk about is BULLYING.
And today, of all days, as I wrestled with this need to say something about bullying, I came across an article about a thirteen-year old boy, Lane Goodwin, who lost his battle with cancer today.
His photo ripped my heart. That smile. Who would guess the young fellow battled a vicious battle with a deadly disease?
All I could think of was that this beautiful child was someone's son. All young lives who are lost are someone's child. God, how that hurts my heart, the losing of a child---from illness, accident or suicide, anything.
What does this have to do with bullying?
Something so simple and pure and painful. This boy, this lovely young Lane, just wanted to live. He apparently made headlines with his brave battle with this monster called cancer, had over 300,000 Facebook followers, I believe he was known as the Thumbs Up Kid.
He, like any other kid, just wanted to go to school, go shopping, play video games, hang out with his friends, play with his pet, love his mother and father, have Christmas, ride his bike. He just wanted to live.
Then this desire for life hit me in the gut, thinking about the young people who are bullied, who finally just give up and take their own lives. What the hell could possibly be so unbearable that they would just forfeit that very basic desire...the desire to live?
These kids who turn in the towel of their lives and end it all aren't---this much I can say, without even having to have known them---exceptions to the rule of wanting to live. They wanted to live. All they wanted was just to BE.
But you know what? Someone out there, somebody or somebodies, didn't care about that and---by tormenting and terrifying relentlessly---the bullies' actions took away even the basic, desperate-for-most-of-us desire to just be in existence.
That's all kids want to do. Live. Some have bigger dreams than others, some are sporty, some dreamy, some mischevious, some computer geeks, some rockers, some Goth, some like the opposite sex, some like the same sex, some are flirty, some are shy, some are small, some are big, some have jobs, some don't, some like school, some don't, some love homework, some loathe it...and so on and so on.
Different and individual as the proverbial snowflake. All beautiful. But all alike in one way, one universal way. They just want to live. They just want to be here on this planet, just like the bullies do.
And to YOU, bullies---who gave you the right to decide if another kid could enjoy his/her life or not? Who the hell put you in charge of that? Nobody. What does it matter to you if another young person is fat, has pimples, is slow, is gay, is lesbian, is a different color than you, is a different religion?
While you torment and humiliate those who are different, if you could only see yourselves. Because you want to know something funny? Hilarious?
I bet every time you watch A Christmas Story, you laugh your guts out at how ridiculous Scut Farkas is. Well, guess what, you coward. That is YOU. Yes, you are that stupid. You are that disgusting. He's just a comic figure, you are the real sickening thing. And to the world, that is exactly how you look. You are not cool, you are sad and small and----just like pitiful Scut when he got the crap knocked out of him---you are, beneath that tough, cool exterior, a fraidy cat is too chicken to stand on your own two feet and NOT bully someone else.
Bottom line, though, and back to my original thought.
I, for one, am building steam in this Irish pressure cooker, getting angrier and angrier at the bullying situation.
The victims of bullying---ALL victims, whatever they're being targeted for---just want to live. That is all they ask.
Lane Goodwin lost his fight with cancer.
But this disease called bullying? It's not inoperable. It's in our power to do something about it, and it CAN be won.
Every kid has the right to just...live. I, for one, want to see that isn't taken away from them.