Youth Violence: An Internal Monolougue

February 7, 2012
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You adults don’t understand, not really. You try, and I’m grateful for that, but you don’t know what goes on in our lives. You’re always saying we have it easy; it’s not as bad as it used to be. Youth violence is nowhere near as horrible as it was in your day. Maybe you’re right. How should I know? Maybe it was awful and kids were getting beat up left and right. Sure, teens today don’t get robbed of their lunch money or punched on the way home from school, but it’s different now. We have more routes to pain and hurt than ever before. The Internet, and all of its children, Facebook, email, Twitter, chat rooms, opened an entire world where agony can be felt by any and all. Not to mention the freaking entire world can insult you to your face! (Well, metaphorically anyway.)

Don't forget about the stuff at school. It’s not like they're taking our money anymore, or getting into fights and throwing us into them. But simple words have driven people in the halls to tears. They’ve driven me to tears. I’m not a person who cries. Someone pushes, finds I’m a bit stronger than they are used to and pushes harder. They push and I'm forced to push back. They insult me and I throw comebacks from Shakespeare. It’s a constant battle, back and forth, until someone breaks. It’s usually me. I snap and yell. Loud. Too loud. I attract too much attention. I scare everyone. And a new bully finds me and notices I’m not like most people they bully, so the vicious cycle begins again.

And I'm not the only one, others are like me: bullied and coping. But more often than not are people like some of my friends. They're usually really confident, but they sometimes can't take the pressure and turn to others or on themselves. I have too often found my friends in tears because some petty ninth grader, who, for some reason, can't keep their idiotic trap shut when it comes to insults. But I'll be there for my friends, and I know my friends will be there for me. We're just like that.

Now, it doesn't matter if someone throws insults to me about how I'm "fat" in French class (which I'm pretty dang sure I'm not). I don't care if someone yells at me across the hall using uncreative words like, "lame," or "stupid."

Frankly, most of the time, I don't give a rat for what other people think about me, because generally, I'm with my friends. We create a wall around each other, built up by compliments on test scores, sincere, exuberant happiness when some of us win something and some others don't, help on struggling subjects, support in our extra-curricular activities, the silent agreement to always ask, "What's wrong?" when someone looks put off, the exchanging of chips and jokes at lunch, the truth, always, even if it hurts, silly quotes we draw from each other, and especially that annoying trait of getting into others' beeswax, because if it's our friend's business, it's our business.

That's the best solution to all this, you know. Friends. My friends have helped me more with bullying than any class I'm forced to sit through, or any flyer every kid at school gets. Everyone needs someone to fall back on. And who better than the people you talk to, share secrets, help with homework, walk to classes, eat lunch, study, and generally goof off with five days out of seven?

Because, in the end, it's probably not going to matter that we learned about it in health: how to stop bullying and how to get an adult when we see it (duh). It won't matter that we know what to do in specific circumstances of youth violence. It won't help those of us who get verbally abused everyday to know how to stay out of fights. And it's good and all that you're trying to help, I believe most of us are glad you aren't completely indifferent to what goes on in our daily lives, but that's not the point.

As much as we want the seminars to work, they most likely will not. What will work, however, is friendship. It may seem cliché, but it does. Friends support each other in a way that is hard to fathom unless one experiences it for oneself. The thing that will stop youth violence will be a mutual respect and care between people, that care won't allow others to get hurt, abused, or insulted like that. Even those we don't know yet.

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This article has 3 comments. Post your own now!

NinjaSherlock said...
Feb. 21, 2012 at 9:21 pm
Love it!  Can't wait for more!
GigiBee replied...
Mar. 2, 2012 at 12:17 am
More of what? My view on other things? I could do that. Thanks for commenting!
NinjaSherlock replied...
Mar. 7, 2012 at 2:46 pm
More of your articles.  I love this so much!
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