You may have heard in the news about Pro Bowler Richie Incognito of the Miami Dolphins being suspended indefinitely after being found harassing his fellow teammate, Jonathan Martin. Incognito has a name for being a bully, a dirty player. Bullying just happens to an individual, no matter how far they have gotten in life. It just happens when jealously snaps one individual, causing that individual to turn on to someone else or when one individual finds that he or she is superior to the other and just has to make a big deal out of it. When we see someone being bullied, we need to stand up for that person and speak up for them. Maybe they are shy or lacking the self confidence to do something about being harassed.
I have been bullied many times throughout life. When I was in kindergarten, I was small compared to the other girls my age. My parents were busy working so after school I would be in Kid’s Club, which was full of fun-filled activities, yummy snacks, and a nap time. Now, my mom would always give me a dollar every other day so I could buy myself a snack during snack time, which I usually went for an ice cream bar which was 50 cents or a bag of popcorn which was 25 cents. I would always save the money left over for another snack the next day. Well, the class bully took notice of that and after school during Kid’s Club when I was leaving the restroom he cornered me and demanded me to give him my money, It was funny because I did not have money that day so that was exactly what I told him. He pushed me against the wall and hit me hard. Of course it stung and I felt like a small fly being smacked by a flyswatter coming at me at 100mph but at that time the adrenaline rush gave me the boost I needed to fight back, and I did. That was my first experience of being bullied and I think I responded pretty well because really, there was no other way to get out of that situation. Even if I screamed for help, by the time someone came running out, I would have been a pancake.
Life was sailing smoothly until I reached middle school. That was when MySpace, Stickam, and Formspring were extremely popular. I noticed that many people advertised their Formsprings on their Myspace so I decided to create my own account and share it on my status about once a month just to see what others wanted to ask me. I noticed from other people’s Formsprings, no matter how sweet they were, they had some hate on their page. It surprised me and I began thinking about deleting my page since I hate hate comments. Since the person asking the questions or commenting had the choice of revealing their name in the comments, you never really knew who was asking or commenting unless you can tell by the way they talked and typed. Formspring was fun for the first couple of months until an anonymous user being posting comments about having sexual activities with me and when I saw these questions waiting to be answered, I was shocked. Wait, what? Come on bro, I was a virgin at the time and I am still a virgin today. No sex until marriage because that is what my mom tells me and that is what the Bible tells me. Okay, back to Formspring. Well, I did reply to only one of the comments, saying that I was a virgin and that he or she should just take a hike and think carefully about what he or she says to others before saying it. I deleted other two or three comments that was waiting to be answered. I did not need to deal with more hate. A few days later I had more comments and questions, and I noticed that a lot came from friends who were replying to that anonymous user, and were defending me. Soon enough, the hater came back and my Formspring became a battlefield for a period of time. Yes, the hate comments stopped sooner than I thought they would. During that period of reading hate comments and being confused of why someone would go out there to post lies about me, I realized that any individual can be a target. You can be pretty, smart, funny, or whatever the personality and characteristic traits that best describes you and you can be a target to hate. I was extremely hurt and cried a few times after I read the comments and felt the world crashing down on me but I stood up for myself and as did my friends.
In the long run, bullying can happen anywhere, whether it be at school, work, or online. Stand up for yourself and stand up for others who are being bullied. Tell your teachers, managers, report the bullying. Let’s stop the hate.