A fourteen year old boy in Bangalore jumped to his death from the tenth floor of his building. The reason – bullying. It set me thinking and I had to address this fad of killing oneself because one was too pansy to deal with problems shared on a universal level in most schools worldwide.
School was a platform for many things which shaped our personality and made us the people we are today. Our talents, unique to us all, were recognised and polished in school. Our athletic skills, our ability to hold a note or create something magnificent with something as humble as a piece of paper and pencil, our oratory skills, our groovy moves and many more unique skills have something in common. The common factor lies in the fact that the baby steps of our growing skills can be traced back to our school days.
However, this random rambling may seem irrelevant to a very suggestive topic about some long suppressed confession on my behalf, but stay with me. I promise this will make sense.
What I was trying to suggest through those lines is that we owe our today to our yesterday. What goes down in Vegas may stay in Vegas but whatever happens in school stays with us forever.
In light of the recent news about a fourteen year old boy jumping to his death following some sort of bullying in school, a certain issue was plaguing my mind and took me back to the confines of my school. Bullying for us bullies was fun. It was playful banter. It was a psychological after effect for some but for others like me, it was the theory of the survival of the fittest. It was simple for us – bully or get bullied.
Bullying is a concept which has been in existence for a long time, but is getting more and more recognition with an advance in sociological and psychological studies. To understand bullying and it’s inception, one must have an in depth understanding of such subjects and studies. However, this article here is not about bullying or its causes. What I want to convey through this article is that bullying is important for a person to get through life as it prepares you for the big bad world outside. I am not supporting bullying. There is no second question about it being bad. But the fact that children succumb to bullying and end up being emotionally and psychologically disturbed is something I am condemning.
Our social structure is such that we love to see clear demarcations. There can be a black side of things or a white. The grey area is something none of us want to consider, as it is uncomfortable. Similarly with bullying, the bully is black and the bullied is white. What we as people fail to notice is the grey area of the ‘why’ and ‘so what’ around it.
Rather than concentrating on the fact that our children have been bullied, doesn’t it make more sense to raise them in such a manner that they are mentally and physically strong enough to deal with bullying? I repeat the fact that I support bullying being wrong, but nothing changes the fact that there may be more than a single bully one will encounter in life! You succumb to one episode of bullying, the second won’t see you swim across like an olympic swimming champion. You want to say goodbye to bullying forever, you must stand up against it and ‘learn’ to protest! The sad (call me pessimistic or a realist) truth of life is that you will be bullied in whatever field you venture into. There is no dearth of bullies. You can’t succumb to every such person you meet, can you? The trick is to make yourself emotionally strong. There is nothing more precious than your life and how can you let any lowlife snatch it away by humiliating you with a few words or a few punches? Gone are the times when you would present the other side of your cheek for another slap. In this dog eat dog world, use your words and wit to make a comeback. There is nothing more humiliating for a bully than a public beatdown through the use of witty jargon and a powerful defence in your stance. And if that is beyond your reach, what are friends for? Haven’t we always been taught ‘united we stand, divided we fall’ ? These are the case scenarios that we were being taught about through such idioms and phrases.
Coming back to the suicide of the fourteen year old boy, I would like to think that his problems were more psychological than physical and given that tender age, involving his parents and elders by sharing things with them would have given him the strength and courage to deal with the bullying effectively. Had his problem been shared, he would’ve probably been alive and I probably would not have been writing about it. Moreover, involving your elders in a case of bullying never harmed anybody. Instead of being secretive about it, we would stand to gain more by sharing our problems and voicing them. Most victims don’t voice there problems due to the fear of facing humiliation. But to tell you the truth, there is nothing more humiliating for the family of the deceased or psychologically impaired victim to realise that they raised an incompetent person in this fiercely competent world.
To every person reading this, I would like you all to learn to stand up against bullying and help others be prepared to fight it rather than succumbing to it. Bullying is bad, but is it bad enough to make you give up your life? We all know the answer to this. Let it be known to those bullies that we are not afraid of their hollow threats and it is time they shut their shops or go open it in another galaxy. Let us all make ‘ourselves’ strong enough to resist the urge to succumb to bullying by giving ourselves the much needed gift of confidence, wit and strength to stand with our heads held high.
P.S. I as a bully never harmed anybody. I just wanted them to do my Hindi homework in exchange of me doing their art homework. I was the naive type of bully (didn’t really understand the dynamics) and in any case I never had it in me to even harm a fly. Talk about the ‘desi’ sort of bullying. But yes, I absolutely agree that it was bullying none the less and I had my fair share of whooping delivered by my parents when they came to know about it. It hurt, trust me. But well, you see how it taught me to see for myself where I was going wrong and how the intervention of elders can control things?
P.P.S. They came to know about it at the end of the term when we were done with homework for the year. Win – win I guess? 😛
About The Auhtor
A bibliophile who loves her mug of coffee and can slay you with her brand of sass.
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