I Am In A Gang Today…

October has been declared National Stop Bullying Month.  In an attempt to show solidarity against bullying, people are being asked to wear purple today, October 20.  I understand the concept and I truly appreciate the intent behind it, but I have to wonder if simply wearing a color is going to stop people from hurting one another because they have some sort of chip on their shoulder.

I think we should take a look at the parenting that’s going on nowadays.

BULLYING: I know children tend to act according to what they see and are taught at home.  While the world is seeming to get more accepting in general, the religious right and the hard core church folk appear to be showing more vehemence in their beliefs.  Also in this age of the New Depression Era, out of work parents or parents who are really struggling to get by, may be having frustrations that are being taken out on the children, who could then take it out on the smaller or “weaker” kids.  Weaker is not the right word, but I kind of feel like that’s how some people view the LGBT community.  Now I am not saying that this is only their doing, I am giving examples of possibilities.

SUICIDEES: Sometimes single parents are so working so hard that they don’t see the changes in mood in their children.  Fatigue is draining and I understand completely that when you get home, all you want to do is shut your eyes and rest. But does it take that much more time or energy to check in with your kids daily to ask how they are and get a good look at them?  On the other side of the argument, there are the parents that coddle their children, so even the slightest bit of negative attention seems to shake their entire world to the ground.  Again, I am not a therapist or a student of psychology (although it is fascinating!)  these are just observations and ideas that maybe there is a truer solution to all of this misguided behavior other than wearing Purple.

Please don’t get me wrong. I don’t want to assume that all of this behavior is only coming from the home, but if we can change the mind set of people  that negative aggression doesn’t have to be the answer for everything, especially when directed at others, well then we may just finally have a true start to ending this.

I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that the other possibility is the whole social food chain.  Where the outcasts… Well, just think of high school and the social hierarchy that rules the majority of the student body.  Here’s the Urban Dictionary’s version.    This doesn’t just end at high school, but it does prepare you for what’s ahead.  So getting through the worst of it as a young person will only make you a stronger.  You can also use that guide as a tool to learn about all those things.  That’s what I did.

I think that’s why to this day, I still try to learn a little bit about everything.  I can’t tell if it’s habit, or if I am truly interested.  I’m a mess.  A fact that I can happily acknowledge.  I’ve been through the bullying, have been mugged for being an easy target, (then again it’s always easy to mug someone from behind. All they got was my DTBD back pack with a book called “Tales from a hot pink diary” and my Gypsy sweatshirt, so the laugh is on them!) and I am no worse for wear.   It did help that I had people to talk to, so friends were just as important then as they are now.

Now friends: Your job is SO vital, if you are truly a friend.  If you even suspect that things are getting too heavy, it is your obligation as a friend to TELL SOMEONE!  Yes, the person wanting to commit suicide will be so angry with you, BUT at least they will be alive to do that!  Please don’t be afraid, be a friend.

Today, I am sporting my Purple, and I hope to be visible enough so that someone who needs it may see that I would be happy to talk to them.  Look for the Purple if you want to talk!!!

Today, I am wearing Purple in solidarity because I know what it’s like to be bullied.

Take a picture of yourself with your Purple and a positive message and I’ll happily post it!  Let’s stop the bullying! End it here, then around the world!!

We're Against Bullying but not having a good time! L to R: Samantha Stidham, Me, Lydia Merriam-Pigg, Elizabeth Claire Lawence

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