Sticks and stones

Sticks and stones will break your bones,  but names will never hurt you.  That’s what I was always taught as a youngster, but times have changed.  It is now obvious that those names do and have done more damage than we gave them credit for.  It is now referred to as bullying.  Names do hurt, the damage is just buried deep and not as visible.

I don’t think of myself as over sensitive, but I do admit I can remember every mean thing ever said to me.  For example, I remember a boy taunting me at the age of 12 because I was wearing a training bra.  I was an obvious late bloomer and very self-conscious about it. Did the insensitive comment ruin my life?  No, but it did hurt enough for me to remember it 45 years later.  I have never been at the (intentional) receiving end of the proverbial sticks and stones, so cannot compare the two hurts.

Bullying is rampant in today’s society.  Suicide rates are skyrocketing with bullying the leading cause.  With the availability and popularity of so many forms of social media, bullies can strike anywhere, anytime, without ever having to meet their victim in person, face to face.

When social media first came to be my eldest son was ten years old.  That was in 1999, the year AOL, Yahoo and MSN all released their own messenger services.  All of a sudden it became very easy to (bully) say hurtful things to classmates, (former) friends, acquaintances, even strangers.  His teacher was so concerned about the hurtful comments that were going around she organized a parent meeting to warn parents and curb the bullying behaviour.   I remember telling my son then “you should never message someone things that you do not have the nerve to say to their face”

That was before every child over the age of six had their own cell phone, in fact many parents did not yet have one.  Most of the messages sent, both good and bad, were done on a home computer.  Parents had some control over what and when their children were communicating and who they were communicating with.

Today our teens and preteens (and many adults) are glued to their cell phones, with access to everyone and everything, anywhere.  The advances in technology make it easier to do just about anything on a cell phone.

Everything except communicate face to face.

An inspirational message shared by a childhood friend on Facebook inspired this post:

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Please be sure to visit my other blogs:
Laugh out loud (LOL) with me at Your Daily Chuckle
and
Be inspired and motivated by famous words of wisdom at WoW
My gardening website can be viewed at gardens4u.ca

 

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Bell Lets Talk Day

 

Today, January 31, is Bell Lets Talk Day.  Bell Canada will donate 5 cents to Canadian mental health for each mobile and long distance call or text, Bell Let’s Talk Day video view on social media, use of the Bell Let’s Talk Facebook frame or Snapchat filter and #BellLetsTalk tweet or retweet.  Texts and phone calls must be from Bell, Bell Alliant, or Bell MTS customers.  If you have an IPhone, be sure to turn off your imessage before you text to ensure your texts are included in the count.

Bell Lets Talk Day

 

Do what you can to help this awesome cause.  Let’s see if we can beat the incredible 2017 results!

 

 

Apologies to a Stranger…

Recently my 15 year old son and I encountered a young couple on a street corner that appeared to be out for an early evening (still daylight) run.   She was sitting awkwardly on the sidewalk holding her ankle/lower leg, obviously in pain.  He was standing over her trying to help.  As we approached the couple, I rolled down my window to ask if they needed help in the form of a cellphone or ride etc.    At the same time, before the young man could respond, my son started yelling at me:  “What are you doing?  Why should we stop?  You’re so weird, talking to complete strangers!”

I am embarrassed to say my son’s outburst provoked an angry, hurt and disappointed reaction in me.  Instead of stopping to see if we could help the couple, we drove off towards home.  When I had cooled down I told my son that his reaction was not only hurtful and mean to me, but showed a complete lack of compassion towards others.  What if one of his family members or friends was hurt in a public setting and no one stopped to help?

This may sound harsh or naive on my part, but I have seen similar behaviour in some of the comments I see coming from him on facebook and twitter, even in his regular conversations with friends and family members.  I can’t help but feel his words are a form of bullying, potentially harmful to sensitive teens at the receiving end.

My son did apologize to me and agreed that stopping to help would have been the “right thing to do”  He also agreed that he would make an effort to stop the offensive comments on social media.