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11 October 2010

Still a bit short on time, and there's a soapbox in my way

...apparently, I'm meant to take a minute and stand on top.

If you've tuned into any news-ish platorm at all over the past week or so -- you've likely read, seen, or are at least somewhat aware of recent suicides of young people, Ellen DeGeneres' plea, and/or the It Gets Better project.

So.  Pretty early last Thursday morning, dipping in and out of email accounts and Facebook, trying to catch up on what had been happenin' since my out-of-the-loop Wednesday, I came across yet another posting of Ellen's video on a friend's wall.  Comments that followed stopped me in my tracks.

In a nutshell, and among other things, it was argued that there's no bullying if there are no direct taunts or intended intimidation.

WHAT????  Those words rang louder than the tinnitus in my head all day: DIRECT TAUNTS, INTENDED INTIMIDATION.

INDIRECT TAUNTS and UNINTENDED INTIMIDATION is... better???  What is that?  How do you DO THAT?  That's pure crap.  Taunting and intimidation is unacceptable.  Period.  Plain and simple.

I have to admit that I am not an expert on any of the cases -- don't ask me for facts or particulars because I know nothing; neither am I always the shining example of a good human being -- I try, but, you know, I'm human.  Honestly, I don't think any of that really matters here -- except that, perhaps, as a less than stellar human being I have learned that it is the INDIRECT and the UNINTENDED in almost any situation that can cause the most damage.

Suicides of young people in MY part of the world immediately come to mind -- these losses are a DIRECT result of the same INDIRECT and UNINTENDED behavior.  It is absolutely terrifying to imagine that number multiplied... and the possible multipliers are staggering, sobering... terrifying.  I think of all my friends all over the country (the world!), each in their own "part of the world," and wonder how many of their communities have suffered similar losses?  My head just won't go there... I can do the "math," but it does.not.compute.  Oh these children... sons and daughters... sisters and brothers.  They are loved and yet so tortured by the... direct? indirect? (does it matter?)... taunts and intimidation.

WTF.

INDIRECT comments made about someone and UNINTENDED for their ears are made ONLY to be hurtful.  They're for whispering, rumoring and innuendo-ing, for misunderstanding, for singling out and sideways glancing, laughing, pointing, making fun of... for taunting and intimidating.  Someone always ends up hurt or crying -- they SHOULDN'T END UP DEAD.  They shouldn't end up feeling that there is no escape from such idiotic behavior other than taking their own lives.  Oh, they are so vulnerable and fragile -- if only these kids KNEW how much stronger they are compared to their truly weak and pathetic tormenters.

I wonder what would happen if everyone practiced being direct and intentional for a day.  You know?  Maybe some conversation would happen... maybe some kindness and understanding would occur.

What do you think?  National Be Direct, Let's Talk About It, Be Kind, and Live With Intention Day!

image from www.flickr.com 
I like it.

Comments

How about a day for each of your suggestions! Well said, Vicki!

Amen!!

I like it too, great idea and very important observations!

I'd celebrate that day every day! I just heard this weekend about a teen in my community who attempted suicide. Luckily she did not succeed but there are so many who do and the reasons all come down to human kindness (or lack thereof) don't they?

I agree. I was a teen who was bullied and attempted suicide. Luckily for the person I am today, I was found in time and rushed to the hospital. But I feel for these kids and wish more was being done to stop bullying.

Amen, Vicki. The unintentional is awful -- thanks for reminding us of that.

Totally agree with you!

Great post. Thank you.

Excellent!

I received my DVD from the church (http://minnesota.publicradio.org/display/web/2010/10/10/dvd-protest/) about marriage protection and I felt it was such a hateful, horrible, awful thing... and I am certain the Archbishop would claim that it was unintended.

Oh wow, well said.

There are so many more avenues for bullying now. Facebook has added to my daughter's victim experience. Many "nice" kids turn nasty with the anonymity of texting, facebook, etc. It's scary to be teen.

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