I’m going to be blunt for a minute. “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but bad words will never hurt me” is the most ridiculous saying I’ve ever heard. We all know that’s a lie if we’ve ever heard one. Now I know it was meant with the intention of not letting things others say get to us, but we all know this little saying isn’t going to make the pain go away. Words are VERY hurtful. If they weren’t, depression rates would be down and suicide rates would be way down. In this day and age, it would be hard to find someone who doesn’t know someone or know of someone who committed suicide because of being bullied. And the thing is, we ALL do it. It’s not just the so-called “bullies” who are the ones hurting these people, but all of us. Even if just for a moment, we have all put someone down to make us feel better about ourselves. As a post on Facebook so perfectly put this, “the problem with people is that we feel the need to make others feel inferior so that we can feel superior.”
Last night I was on Facebook, just scrolling through my newsfeed before I went to sleep and found a post that seemed odd. Not long after looking into it and texting a friend, I found out terrible news. The younger stepbrother of the girl I consider more of another sister than just a friend, committed suicide. I couldn’t believe it. I immediately called my family still not knowing much about the situation or what had triggered this. It didn’t take long to figure out that bullying was the problem. The craziest thing is that even though I hadn’t seen him in a while, he seemed “fine” the last time I saw him, happy even. But isn’t that how it normally works? The person seems “fine” and “if only we had known…” Well, what about this…If you knew something you said (or did) was going to be what pushed someone over the edge, would you still say it?
Why can’t we live that way? We live in a time when superiority is the thing we are looking for. We put others down because that way we don’t feel AS bad about ourselves. And now we don’t even have to bully in person. With the technology we have, we can hide behind our phones and computers and bully others. So now, not only have we become bullies, but COWARDS as well. We are caught in a lie; we let Satan take over and he fills us with the thought that if we put someone else down, we will feel better about ourselves. But do we ever really feel better? No. Maybe just for a second but tearing someone else apart is never going to heal the wounds inside us. If we all learned to treat each other with love and respect, these kinds of things wouldn’t happen near as often. Bullying and cyber bullying would not be the topic of discussion on the news. We aren’t perfect. We are going to say and do things we regret. However, we can choose to make things right. APOLOGIZE to the person; tell them you love them. Don’t just hope they know you were sorry. Stop being a coward and take ownership of your actions or call someone else out on theirs. Micah 6:8 says, “He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.”
Dedicated to Taylor Newman, Makenzie Latham, and the Copeland family in honor of Josh Copeland
“He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.” Psalm 147:3