Ryan Higa, one of my favorite YouTube personalities, posted a video today called “Unpopular Opinion: Cyber Bullying.”
My favorite part is that his opinion is basically the same as mine. For years I’ve thought that the focus has been on the wrong side of the bullying equation. When a cat is being picked on by another cat in the household, the cat that is being picked on is the one who is treated. This makes perfect sense to me. I think it’s the same with people. I hope this is the beginning of a trend that really takes off. I think the more people talk about it, the more acceptable the opinion may become. Then real progress can finally be made.
It seems as if the “popular” opinion is to focus on the bullies. People study them and try to figure out what makes them tick and how to “fix” them. But, by definition, the bullies don’t give a shit. Focus, instead, on the people who are struggling. Study the people who are suffering.
Sure, we can delve deep into the minds and hearts of the bullies and learn that they are struggling and suffering and that is why they lash out. But why bother? Seriously. People don’t usually change until and unless THEY want to change. Bullies aren’t going around crying and whining and asking for help. The people who are being bullied are.
Let’s help them. Let’s teach them ways to stand up for and protect themselves. At the end of the day, we only have ourselves. We cannot rely on the goodwill of others – it might not exist. If it does, it might not be accessible. If it is, it might not be accessible at the right time. Learn to be your own hero.
One of the most important things I’ve learned in my life can be found in a quote by Nathaniel Branden. He said, quite simply:
No one is coming to save you.
Harsh words, maybe. The sooner people learn this, however – the sooner they can accept this painful fact – the sooner they can begin to learn how to take care of themselves.
Blaming others for our problems and our situations is easy for most people. They are taught to do so in early childhood, and the lessons are reinforced again and again throughout life. Until the day when the shit hits the fan and no one is available to help us. Until the panic and terror finally dies down and we step up and we take care of it ourselves. Because if we don’t do it, no one else will. No one answered our calls, our texts, our emails, our tweets, or our facebook posts. And we handled our shit.
If we do this enough times we learn just how strong and how capable we can be. We’re more likely to help ourselves again the next time, before we ask someone else for help. We still ask for help sometimes, because we are human. But we don’t completely lose our minds if we’re left to take care of things on our own. We learn, we adapt, we overcome. And we live to see another day.