Friday, June 22, 2012

COMMENT: Bullying is wrong...

"Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother's eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?  - Matthew 7:3, NIV

Yesterday, I saw a flurry of tweets back and forth about something in town, culminating in a tweet from a gossip reporter for a secondary newspaper taking a shot at a local photographer, saying, to wit, that a mistake - and error in her reporting - was because a "rotund" photographer was in her way.

It was rotundly disappointing to see and hear, no not because I'm a bit rotund myself or because the person bullied by the so-called reporter is someone I know.  It's disappointing because it happened on the day when we saw what a culture of bullying and an attitude of "attack someone personally" becomes okay in the eyes and out of the mouths of our youth. 

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See, it's this sort of thing which causes things like we saw with those kids. It starts with someone bullying someone for having an oddly shaped nose, or weird feet, or hands. Then, it progresses...

... to being about someone being gay. Or someone being fat or rotund. Or about someone's religious beliefs.

And that breeds hate. And we all know what hate, when radicalized, can become.

It's not okay.

If you want to debate about the role of paparazzi in society, that's fine. If you want to talk about the the way people treat people with fame and whatnot, that's fine. If you want to debate beliefs, political, personal, what not, that's fine.

But attacking someone personally for who they are, for their size, for their faith, for their sexual orientation, for their color, or for where they're from... it's not okay. It's cheap and easy. It's bush league, especially from someone working in the "third estate" who aspires to move on to a larger stage, or a more respected publication. And it's what is wrong with our society today -- and the wrong example to show to young people like my daughter.

I've not always been innocent but I've come to find, in life, that I can be better than this. That I can embrace what makes us who we are - even with our flaws and whatnot - so that we can rise as people and make the world a better place. We all have our flaws. We all have our insecurities and fears. And we can all rise above them, to correct them where we can and to find more strength as a people powered by our diversity.

And that, to me, is part of the way you help heal... and then, change, the world.

Thanks for reading.

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