Since I was not able to write what I had originally intended for Monday’s post, I am going to write it now. So I had this conversation with my friends about the effects of bullying. While we were in secondary school (and university for some), we didn’t realise how much the scathing remarks we made to others could impact their future. For some people, it sunk deep.
I’m sure we all know these set of people back then who felt it was ok to bring people down simply because they could. They were usually the cool gang and anyone not in the clique was the recipient of their unsolicited scorn. I was never bullied. I don’t see how I could have been. My mouth was too sharp. I didn’t care who it was; I put people in their place. I remember one time in primary school one girl wanted to sit on the window ledge where I was sitting. She was two years ahead of me I think. And she demanded that I should leave the spot for her. Well I didn’t and I moved on. I have never really enjoyed exchanging words with people. It is such a waste of time and energy.
Guess what this girl did? She pushed me! Oh…she was so lucky I broke her arm because I was ready to fight that day. When I went home and told my mother the story, she shouted of course and said something that stayed with me for years’ “Dedoyin, don’t allow anyone to push you around. I don’t care who the person is.” So going into secondary school, I was bully proof.
There are however people who have been bullied and till today, they have self-esteem issues because of it. Some of them are still holding on to the hateful words spoken to them many years ago. There are also people who are also bullied as an adult. You see, it very easy to dismiss bullying as youthful exuberance but do you know adults bully people too? They are the ones who go to any length to bring people down because they are not in their social class. If they are better by you by any means, they will let you know and God help you if your self-confidence is low.
So where does it stop; this whole I know better than you, I have more money than you, I’m more spiritual that you. I’m actually tempted to ask, “Who cares really?” Someone somewhere will always be better than you so why that becomes a reason to bully someone else beats me. It only shows the low self-esteem of those who bully others. And that is the truth. People have issues and they try to find as many people to drag down into their hole as they can. It’s sad but it happens.
My concern is for people who are still suffering from the effects of bullying. If you were bullied as a child, you just have to let it go. I like the way my friend put it; “They did not break your self-esteem. You allowed them to break it.” I totally agree. You can choose to remain bitter or move on. You can choose not to allow yourself to be dragged to the mud. There is always a higher road to take.
I still don’t like exchanging words with people. Usually I just blank them out but I am learning to still care for them despite their actions. My Pastor said on Sunday that because someone has issues and acts irrationally does not give you the licence to act the same way. You must still show them love and pray for them. I definitely know it’s not easy but I can tell you this, it is liberating. The issues people have are not your fault but never let them make you do or say something you will regret. And don’t allow yourself to be bullied by anyone; emotionally, physically, mentally or spiritually.
May God heal your heart if you are still struggling to forgive the people who may have bullied you or tried to bring you down. I also pray that you will begin to see yourself in light of God’s word and you will be confident in who you are in Him.