There was a class I took a few years back about commercial energy conservation. The teacher was an older man, grayhaired, very kind, and with a voice that sounded like a grandpa reading a bedtime story. The class was boring as ever, which made it difficult to keep my eyes open, let alone pay attention and learn the material.
I will say that some of the information was interesting. I understood the premises of the class. I understood the information but less than midway through the lesson, the teacher would go off on a tangent and laugh with his quiet little bedtime story laugh. He would talk about something that happened to him or his family and then just like that, half the class would start to nod and fall asleep.
One of the most intimidating moments during my young life was my first day of junior high school. We didn’t call it middle school back then. We had elementary, junior high, and high school.
I remember the very first time I stepped into the cafeteria in junior high. First, I remember the realization that I was still so very small. Other kids were much taller than me and developed. I remember my breath gave out as I walked through the double doors into a big room with different lunch tables. Everyone seemed to know each other. Everyone seemed to have their place at the table. Also, everyone that sat where they sat found themselves caught in the social regime of popularity.
It isn’t as much as what’s said or done, it’s what is taken away. It’s the aftermath. It’s the ideas and the thoughts and feelings that linger after the abuse. This is the real theft.
This is what bullying does. It’s not just being picked on, shoved, or kicked around. This is more than the character assassinations or the cancellation of someone’s character. Bullying is the humiliation that lingers like an unseen scar, which in some cases will last a lifetime.
We somehow become consumers of our thoughts. We buy into our ideas and we own them for every cent they are worth.
We are who we think we are because of course, who else could we possibly be?
We think about our life. We think about our past. We think about the presence of our day and the moment and the paths we hope to take. Essentially, our mind is always moving and always scanning for the best direction and mapping a course.
Our emotions feed from this. In fact, our predictions feed from this, which means if we spend time on unhappy ideas then we tend to adopt the feelings that support them.
They have something called filters now. This is basically a Photoshop people use for their selfies, which in young people’s words mean a picture of one’s self.
I shake my head at this. I shake my head because of a girl I witnessed take a picture of herself while riding home on the bus from New York City.
She posed for the picture with her best kissy-faced expression, puffing her lips out ever so slightly to seem a bit more risque and desirable. She angled the picture in such a way to catch a part of her cleavage. This was not a picture for mom or dad by any means. No, this picture was intended for a desired effect.
The fact remains that we all process information differently. I go back to that word we use so often and mention the word, “Just,” as in when people say, I don’t understand why you “Just” don’t get it.
The word “Just” is used as if to simplify the action. However, this is a word that “Just” doesn’t fit sometimes.
If I could do anything at all, I suppose I would start here, right now. I suppose I would start with this and then I could move forward, as in onward, as in better. I suppose the moment we understand the benefits of our ability are often underestimated, we realize our ability is the exact thing that empowers us to move forward.
In the morning when you wake up after life has turned you around and the aftermath of all that’s hurt you is too raw to think about and when the idea of recovery is too far from the concepts of reality; your mind is flooded with too many thoughts, your body is tired because it’s too hard to find rest, and when the soundtrack in your brain is made up of the conversations that went wrong, the truth is there’s really nothing anyone can do at that moment, except breathe.
There is a reason why people don’t step up to say anything. Their silence is not the same as submission but more to the point, their silence is only fear that keeps their secrets from ever being told.
This can be something as simple as a problem in the workplace. This can be as simple as two friends miscommunication or as easy as a misunderstanding that went too far.
It starts simple. First, everything is a joke.
People love to joke, don’t they?
People love to see what they can say and what they can get away with.
This is true with bullies. This is true with the people that love to chew the fat from the gossip mills or the rumor factories.
Think about this for a second.
Think about the words, “I was only kidding.”
How many times have we heard someone say this?
Think about the words, “I didn’t mean it.”
How many times have you heard this?