Every day, we wake up and expect to have a good day. Be it having fun at work, hanging out with friends at school, eating the food we have been craving since the night before, going to watch the game we have been excited to watch live or watching another episode of our favorite TV show. We just expect to have a good day.
However, sometimes things do not turn out the way we want them to. Maybe while at work, we may misplace an important file and get a good scolding from the boss which may cost us our job or end of month wages. We may fall while playing soccer with our buddies at school and hurt our knee which may in future jeopardize our ability to play for a while or again. There may be a power cut which will prevent us from watching the intriguing episode of the favorite TV show we have been dying to watch. We may be mugged or may misplace our money therefore missing out on buying the food we were craving last night. The car may just be out of fuel at the last minute for us to miss the game we were so excited to watch live.
Nobody wakes up expecting to have a bad day or wanting to have a terrible day. No one knows what game fate may play with him or her during the day. But when the day turns sour, we still go through it. Someway somehow, we end up surviving a bad day, even the ones that could have cost us our life. But how do we survive being bullied?
Many a time, we are told words that hurt us. We are told words that bring down our self-esteem. We are thrown in situations and circumstances that terribly scare us. We are dealt blows, sometimes literal ones, that shake the very core of the grounds that hold us together, causing our hearts to break into a million pieces.
Have we ever wondered what goes through the minds of bullies? No, right? Except you have been bullied, that thought will never cross your mind. But I figured something out.
Bullies do not believe the right to equality. Bullies feel the bullied do not deserve to breathe the same air as them, go to the same school as them, work in the same work space as them, wear the same style or fashion as them or eat the same food as them. Bullies feel the bullied do not deserve the rights they are entitled to as humans. In short, bullies feel the bullied do not deserve to be called humans.
It is a sad reality that in modern times, bullying has been normalized, that bullying has become so common that people do not feel the need to talk about it anymore. As humans, we are entitled to eat what we want, dress how and wear clothes we want, go to school, work or just be comfortable. We are entitled to these things as soon as we are born because we are humans and they are natural. Yet, how is it that some people think and feel others do not deserve these natural things, these rights, these entitlements? One word- respect.
When we learn to respect each other as humans may be, just maybe, things will change. We do not have to accept everybody’s views, lifestyle, status, alignments or affiliations but we should respect them. We should learn how to see each other for what we are- humans- instead of classifying who deserves what based on social status, intellectual and physical abilities, racial background, religious associations or sexual inclinations. Maybe when the bullies realize that the bullied have feelings like them, have red blood flowing through their veins like them and not green blood, that the bullied are entitled to enjoy every single human right there is, just like them, the world will be a better place.
What about what runs through the minds of the bullied? Do the bullied also think the same as the bullies? Of course, they do. Just like the bullies, the bullied also think the bullies do not deserve the rights they have. Why? Because to them, bullies are inhuman.
When you have the spirit of humanity within you, you have empathy towards others. You do not hurt people deliberately. But above all, you respect them. So what, if someone has an easier life than you? So what, if someone does not experience your daily struggles? So what, if someone’s sexual inclination does not align with yours or your culture? So what, if someone does not share your religious views? So what, if someone is not of the same race as you?
The rich look down on the poor because the poor is not on the same financial and social level as them. The poor disregard the rich because they think the rich have everything easy and do not struggle like they do. They view the rich as uptight. However, if we respected the fact that we are all humans, there will be no bad blood. There will probably be no divisions either. Social media though has made things worse. Now, people hide behind their phones and computers and openly bully others just because they can and the means are available.
If you are a bully, do you ever wonder what it will be like to be at receiving end of those punches and hurtful words you hurl? Why should someone be bullied because he or she is not you? Do you ever think of the trauma you are subjecting your victim to? The mental struggles they endure everyday and every time you throw a punch or hurl an insult at them? Does it ever cross your mind that you are hurting someone who can be you?
Why should a child be so scared to go to school because he or she is bullied for preferring to read books over discussing sports and fashion? Why should a worker be bullied because he or she does not hold a major position at the workplace? Why should a person be bullied on social media just because their lifestyle does not conform to your personal principles and beliefs?
It all boils down to respect. Imagine if we all respected each other as humans, if we all saw that we are the same in our different ways. A wise person once said, “bullying will only end when the world comes to an end and we all die”. But should we wait that long for change to happen? Who are we to even judge and determine who should get what because of what? Who are we to even discriminate?
Respecting that we are all humans is the ultimate goal we should seek. If we want the world to be a better place for us and generations to come, it should begin with us. Just like the change we want. Our actions should speak for us. We all want to feel safe and free. We all want to change but it has to start somewhere.
But as we pray for the change that seems so far away, we need to know bullying will never stop. Not today and definitely not tomorrow. We can only hope that one day, we will wake up and it will be gone. Like it never existed.
Till then, we just survive. Or don’t we?