Friday, September 2, 2011

Practice Compassion (You are safe here)

What possesses people to be so hateful and feel the need to bully those around them? 

This seems to be the theme lately and I don’t understand why. Are human beings so jealous of others? Threatened by what others have or don’t have? Lacking so much self-worth that they must inflict their shortcomings on others? Intimidated, envious, resentful, defensive…angry? 

I guess I find this so hard to understand because, although I’ve struggled with my own self-esteem, I’ve never felt the need to harm another soul. I don’t need to hit them, demoralize them, emotionally or verbally abuse them, or any other malicious act in order to make myself feel better. 

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So why then do these acts – bullying – take place? 

Why do we, as a society, still allow this to happen?

So you’re probably wondering where all this is coming from, so here’s the abbreviated story…

A dear friend’s daughter began high school recently. This should be a new and exciting time in her life besides the usual teenage angst and thinking your parents are idiots and such, but that’s another story. :-) So her first week at school and she’s already become the victim of bullying by a group of misfits for no reason other than existing. 

Kids are smart these days, or really dumb depending on how you look at it, and use tools that weren’t available to us growing up such as YouTube. They used this media outlet to diversify their bullying methods and created several hateful videos of the things they plan to do to these girls, my friend’s daughter included. My first thought was how sad it was that these girls are so broken inside that they have to stoop to these levels to get attention.

To shorten this story, parents; school officials and police have been involved and hopefully their cries for attention in disruptive behaviors will cease. 

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So on to the next part…

I was reading Kind Over Matter this morning and came across the link to Gluten-Free Girl (Shauna) and was just disgusted by her story and what she’s lived through lately.

– I’ll pause for you to read it (here). –

Okay, so are you not just appalled by the abuse she’s received from blog and Twitter followers and other random hateful people??? 

I don’t know if I’ve just been lucky that I’ve not had such criticism, granted I don’t have thousands of blog followers. Yes, I’ve felt judgment from people I’ve interacted with outside the blogosphere.  Especially since my weight has ballooned up quite a bit the last few years. I’ve been criticized for my parenting skills and specifically for being a single parent. I’ve also been questioned for not following the crowd but I don’t take offense to that. I’m proud to march to the beat of my own drum. But to daily receive hate email and comments for nothing to do with what you posted on your blog that day? 

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Is this something you’ve dealt with since entering the blog world (or being online in general)?

I think human beings need to practice a bit more compassion. 

According to Wikipedia, the word compassion is Latin for “co-suffering.” It’s explained as a virtue (good moral being), a cornerstone of greater social interconnection and humanism.

Compassion (noun) – to suffer together 
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Shauna, today you and I are “co-suffering.” I feel a touch of the pain you’re feeling thanks to you sharing your story with us. I’m so sorry that you receive these vicious attacks and I’m so proud of you for stepping up, putting your foot down, and saying “No more!” to silencing your story. I like what you said, “It doesn’t feel honest to not talk about this.” I agree with you. We should be talking about this. We should be making it known that it’s not okay to speak to others with such cruel and sadistic intentions.

So what are we going to do about it?

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This is my start; by making it known that I won’t tolerate bullying/harassment/discrimination here. You are loved here and this is a safe place. We practice compassion for each other here.


Kim Mailhot said...

Compassion, thoughtfulness, acceptance respect, kindness, in any of these words, comes back to LOVE. It is what we need so very, very much in this world, isn't it, my friend, Amanda. I am suffering the lack of it deeply too, along with you, Shauna and so many others I know. Let's keep on being LOVE warriors, providing the example, not tolerating discrimination or hatred and showing loving and compassion for ourselves and all those on this journey with us. Thank you for providing this safe, and loving place.
Love to you, Beautiful One !

Cindi said...

What an awesome blog... and also Shauna's. I've had some pretty ugly reviews written about my first book by people who don't know me (and won't ever) that just amazed me when I read them. I had to wonder why their mothers never taught them that if they didn't have anything nice to say, they shouldn't say anything at all. What hurt even more were the people who made hateful comments and then went on to say that they didn't even finish reading my book. So why then did they feel the need to give it a negative review? I took it very personal for about 24 hours and even considered giving up writing, taking down my blog and making my books unavailable. But then I woke up to a new day and realized that by denying my voice ~ whether they liked what I had to write or not ~ would be letting the bullies win. And I won't do that. I vow to practice compassion... not just for each other... but for myself as well.