October is National Bullying Prevention Month. Ambassador author Laura Taylor’s book EE Otter and the Bullfrog Bullies teaches kids how to biblically combat bullying. This is the second installment in Laura’s three-part series on bullying.
Maybe you’ve noticed the way the girls turn their backs on her and laugh as she approaches her locker. Maybe you’ve seen the look of fear on his face as a group of athletes saunter up the hallway and one of them hollers, “Hey guys look who it is!” Chances are pretty good that , at some time, in some place, you’ve had a front row seat to a kid being put down, laughed at, intimidated, and hurt. In other words, you’ve seen bullying in action. And you did nothing. Maybe you were too scared to speak up. Maybe you didn’t think it was that big of a deal. Maybe you were already late for class and didn’t have the time to do anything. So it went on, one more time.
And somehow you missed your chance; your chance to be a hero. That’s right! Yeah, like the one you used to pretend to be when you were just a little kid, cape and all. You know, the one in the movies and the comics. The one who stands up for the little guy. The one who speaks out against injustice. The one who does it, not because he’s trying to be a hero, but because he’s trying to do the right thing. Yeah, I know, he’s got all those super powers, right? And you don’t.
Yet the fact remains that you still have the chance to be a hero. Pretty amazing, isn’t it? You don’t have to have the cape and fly, be able to smash cars with your bare hands, or shoot heat rays out of your eyeballs. You just have to be you. Yep, you! The you who decides to stand on the heroic principles of right and speak out about what’s wrong. That’s it. All it takes is a commitment to what is right and the courage to stand up and speak out when things are wrong. Statistics (yeah, you maybe should have listened a little more in math class) say that bullies stop bullying 60% of the time when a hero like you intervenes. Think about that! Over half of the situations that occur where someone is being picked on and bullied actually stop! They cease when a hero like you steps onto the scene and speaks out about what is wrong. Now that’s heroic power in action! And, I don’t need to tell you that picking on someone is wrong. I don’t need to tell you that intimidating someone else is wrong. It goes without saying that posting nasty stuff on social media about someone is wrong; that hitting, hurting, or belittling another fellow human being for any reason at all is wrong ALWAYS!
You’re smart. You already know that stuff! But here’s the thing: knowing and not doing something about it, well that’s not smart. And like I said, you’re smart! And when you take what you know and apply it to what you do then you’re smart and strong! Sure sounds like the making of a hero, huh? And you know what else is cool? The more you stand up for others, the more you speak out against wrong, the stronger you actually become yourself! And what’s more, if Jesus Christ lives inside of you, then you’re already promised His power, His wisdom, and His presence when you choose to do the right thing!
So, the next time you see someone being picked on or bullied, stand up and speak out! Taking a stand and speaking out may look different than you might imagine. It may take the form of finding an adult that you can trust and ask for their help; or simply saying, “Stop picking on her!”; It may mean that you take the time to befriend the victim of bullying, or eat lunch at her table, or walk with him to class. A simple act of kindness can set off some serious ripples that can grow into waves that might just flood that whole school of yours!
Yeah, there are a lot of ways to stand up, to speak out against bullying, but you already knew that, didn’t you? Because there’s a hero right there inside of you! Inside of everyone of you! And how cool would it be if those who think your generation is just a bunch of selfish, mean spirited and entitled kids had to sit up and take notice because of the heroes, like you, who are choosing to make a real, everyday difference? How awesome would it be that you would be known as the generation of ordinary, everyday heroes who make an extraordinary difference and defeated, once and for all, the evil arch nemesis called Bullying!