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Being Anti

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A popular saying goes: No one can make you feel inferior without your permission, not until you let them. It could be anyone, your family, friends, people of the opposite sex or even people you pass on the street or corridors. Your self-esteem is the most precious thing you could ever possess. It is your charm, your ability, and your way to success, and as they say, once harmed self-esteem is very difficult to rebuild! Just one way by which people’s self-esteem is harmed is teasing or in more atrocious terms, Bullying, as defined by the dictionary, Bullying is a form of aggressive behaviour manifested by the use of force or coercion to affect others. As defined by the ‘bullies’ bullying is nothing but the display of power, the display of superiority over others, and for other people who get ‘bullied’, bullying is just another form in which they are made to feel inferior, when they are let down and exploited. Exploitation might not always be physical; sometimes it may also take the form of mental harassment. Bullying has long term consequences, and leaves an impression that doesn’t seem to go away for a pretty long time. But where does it happen? How does it happen? Bullying can occur in any text, including school, college, family, workplace, home or even church. It takes various forms- emotional, verbal and physical. Many first hand experiences give evidence of the fact that bullying starts initially only as teasing, and when no stand is taken against it by the victim, it gets stronger and fiercer, often resulting in violent bashings and abusive remarks. It is ironic that the term ‘bully’ was first used in 1530s meaning ‘sweetheart’ or ‘lover’. The meaning deteriorated through the 17th century through ‘fine fellow’, ‘blusterer’, or ‘harasser of the weak’. Surprising, eh? Bullying is repeated aggressive behaviour, and as the meaning suggests, it happens a bit too often, till the victim is victimised and tormented to a remarkable extend. On one hand we encourage every child to go to school, and get educated, but little do we know that thousands of students are afraid to go to school because of the fear of being bullied! A middle school student began having stomach pains and diarrhoea and was diagnosed with a digestive condition called irritable bowel syndrome as a result of the stress that came from being bullied throughout the school year. Another student spent his afternoons hungry and unable to concentrate in class because he was too afraid to go to the cafeteria during lunch time. Our peers and the society have quite a big role to play in all this. As stated by experts, some main reasons for bullying are mainly social stratification, where people are ranked inferior or superior, which existed in our society since as long as society came into existence. People are picked on because they aren’t ‘pretty’ as other people, or maybe not as ‘smart’ or aren’t ‘popular’ enough. But what can we do about it? Sit back and analyse? Well, we all have some part that we can do. We need to start believing in ourselves. One noted fact is that ‘shy’ people, who do not answer back are repeated victims, because the ‘bullies’ know they won’t tell anyone. So, we need to be bold enough, and have confidence on ourselves in an effort to not let anyone mistreat us. This is when we are direct victims. But when we are mere spectators, our sole duty is to stand up for those victims to not just keep seeing, but to take an action against it, to report to the authorities in charge, so that those ‘bullies’ learn a lesson! I’d like to conclude by quoting Donna Schoenrock, “Some people won’t be happy until they’ve pushed you to the ground. What you have to do is have the courage to stand your ground and not give them the time of the day. Hold on to your power and never give it away.”



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