My writing process is best described as herky-jerky. It’s usually a combination of starts and stops and starts again, as I look for the final groove that pushes me to finish whatever piece on which I’m working. The stops are usually spent online, as I try to calm my brain. And, sometimes, I’ll find something online that takes me far afield of where I was originally planning on going. This post is one of those.
You see I was deep into a post – about intentions – when I had gone as far as I could with my thoughts. I had a pretty good premise (I think), but it simply wasn’t quite coming together in a way that I liked. So, I left the post to recalibrate my thoughts by reading the latest happenings in sports. Wonder if the Giants won last night? That was the plan, anyway. But then I read yet another story about a gay teen committing suicide as a result of bullying. And my brain was far from rested.
The reactions to reading about tragedies like this are immediate and obvious. It turns your stomach. The older I get the less I understand hate. Yes, especially, as a father, my stomach turns even more. Into knots. I find myself fighting back tears, as I try to, but can’t possibly, imagine the pain the kid must have felt and now that his family and friends must feel. Moreover, as a father of a six-and-a-half year old son who has routinely been on the receiving end of what is probably just blown off as “play,” such stories send my mind reeling. When my son comes home upset because (insert name here) once again (repeatedly) took off his hat and threw it, I wonder is this the start of something bigger? Could this happen to him?
It seems we live in a society where bullying is everywhere – the media, politicians, athletes, radio call-in shows and on and on. Realistically, though, I don’t know much about bullying. I don’t know how it goes unchecked. I can’t understand the parents of bullies. I can’t understand administrators who let such behavior go unchecked (as it was in Jack Reese’s case). Although my son is more often teased than teasing, he has been known to “return fire,” and I’m on him immediately for it. If I ever hear him talking in a bullying tone to anyone, it stops there. If any parents ever tell me that my son was bullying their kid(s), I take that seriously. Seems most parents have that, “What? Not MY kid.” attitude, that allows the behavior to continue. I’m not suggesting that I’m a better parent – far from it – maybe I’m just not completely desensitized as so many others have become.
I have no idea what to do about these feelings that I’m having. What I do know, however, is that I feel the need to do something. We often feel that this can’t happen to me when the thoughts are just too uncomfortable. But, this can happen to you, your friends, your kids and so on. And it just has to stop. My heart breaks when I read these stories.
So, the original intention post has to wait.
Instead, I offer a simple challenge. Just “like” this post at A Day Well Lived. Because it seems to me that doing something, doing anything is, indeed a day well lived. That’s all you need to do. If you’d like to comment – that’s good too. And for every one of those likes and/or comments, A Day Well Lived will donate $1 (up to $500 and ultimately maybe more) to the National Bullying Prevention Center.
I’m tired of reading about teenagers who feel their only recourse is to commit suicide to escape the horrors of bullying. I can’t stop it on my own, but I can do this little bit.
Because this is just bull(y)shit…