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Praise the Givers; Shun the Receivers

December 23, 2013 Leave a comment

Bully: Use superior strength or influence to intimidate (someone), typically to force him or her to do what one wants. Source

Comments from bullies on bullying:

  • “I was just kidding!”
  • “I did nothing wrong.”
  • “They’re being too sensitive”

Bullying and cyberbullying have become prominent in the last five years. Far too often, we hear another story on the news about the unfortunate result of bullying in some form.

What constitutes bullying? According to the National Centre Against Bullying:

  1. Physical bullying
  2. Verbal bullying (includes name calling, insults, teasing, intimidation, homophobic or racist remarks, or verbal abuse.)
  3. Covert bullying
  4. Cyberbullying

Despite the amount of awareness bullying garners, people seem to not fully understand what bullying is. Sure, the term bully is defined above. A single definition is not uniform across the world.

Each individual defines bullying differently. Everyone has a tolerance level for the amount of ‘teasing’ or ‘jokes’ one can handle in one moment, one day, or over time.

No one in the Miami Dolphins locker room Jonathan Martin was feeling bullied during his near two-year term with the team.

Jade Stringer was a well-liked, attractive middle-schooler. Stringer was not immune to bullying; she was bullied for being pretty. Stringer is no longer with us.

Bullying may start with something as simple as a ‘light-hearted comment’ or ‘witty tweet.’

A Minneapolis agency recently did a social experiment around giving and receiving. Through twitter, (from the agency):

  • Include #give in your tweet and we’ll donate $10 on your behalf to help fight cyber bullying — through Pacer’s National Bullying Prevention Center.
  • Include #receive and we’ll cut you a check for $10, no strings attached (well, aside from a little grief on Twitter).

Results from the campaign: of the first 150 responders, 139 chose to #give. 11 chose to #receive with some asking permission to donate to a cause of their choosing.

An individual chose to group the #receive-rs together and call them Grinches. (NOTE: original tweet from @sjmino has since been deleted)

Another individual knew how they’d be looked at for receiving before stating their intentions:

This individual figured they were evening out whatever karma may come against them for wanting to receive.

 

We have no idea why this individual or others chose to receive (outside of the individuals donating the money elsewhere). To some, an extra $10 could be the reason someone can buy Christmas presents for their family, put a meal on the table, or buy gas to commute to/from work.

This social experiment as it’s being called had good intentions. A cyberbullying organization benefitted to the tone of $1,390 along with plenty of awareness.

What also resulted from this was what appears to be a company of superior strength using influence to get people to act how they want.

Was the lump of coal necessary, Space150? What about the grief? Is that really needed?

No. No it was not.

Next time anyone does a social experiment, especially when benefitting an anti-cyberbullying organization, avoid the bullying behavior.

Jason

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‘Tis The Season of…

December 6, 2010 1 comment

During the past weekend, I was in the middle of a discussion with my Mom, and we were not seeing eye-to-eye. This prompted her to say “Please consider the season, Jason.’

Why does the season need to be considered? Is this the season where you cannot have disagreements, be angry, mad, or sad?

That’s right. This is the season where you try to make up for not being a good person to your family, friends, loved ones, and strangers for the whole year by participating in the competition known as gift giving. That’ll cure all the karma built against you, right?

I know that’s a very dry outlook on the holiday season. It has been a while since I have fully appreciated the season of giving. It all stems back to high school, when a few people told me ‘You are so spoiled; you get everything you want. Like you deserve it all.’

It made me think about if I was spoiled or not. I was seventeen with a great group of friends. I was on the popular side. I was low maintenance, but had (at the time) everything I needed or wanted. I had too much. I was too blessed. My seventeen year old self thought they were right.

I began to sour on the idea of holiday’s, birthday’s, or any celebration for that matter. I observed how others acted before, during, and after holidays. What I saw was a bunch of fake people posturing an attitude an aura that likely did not exist. It was all about the present, and not the person, or meaning behind it. That was not a world I wanted to be a part of.

Being sad; having a bad day; any negative feelings that may have existed did not have a place during the holiday season. Neither did being real.

Since, I have been slowly warming up to the holiday season. I’m just older to see through more than I was as a seventeen year old. I am in a good spot. I know of others not as fortunate.

The holidays are not a happy time for everyone.  Many people do not recognize that, or respect that.

This goes back to my original thought. Are we supposed to consider the season? If someone close to you is having a bad day in the middle of August, do you tell them ‘please consider the summer season, it’s warm outside!’?

Maybe those people who I saw as being fake were trying to hide their sadness just for my pleasure. I wish they had not done that. I wish I had recognized it.

While the holiday season is better if happiness is everywhere, please respect those who are having a difficult time. Please listen to them. Please help them. Please consider them first, and not the season.

~J

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