By now, most people have heard the meaning of hashtag “Me Too” and most women and some men have lived the experience of being harassed in the workplace by those in authority. Just belonging to the movement has given strength and empowerment rather than the meaning of victimized. The awareness may lead to less situations of it happening or being tolerated by our society as a whole.
There is another movement that needs the same attention and needs its own hashtag; the experience of being bullied and the best way to respond to it. We need a hashtag that can project strength for those experiencing it in the moment, for the instant recognition of just what it is. If you are being singled out and bullied, what word or phrase would empower you? I look back at the times it happened to me and my response was to lower my eyes and silently cry. The wound to my soul was great with lasting scars.
The wounds are personal and they are deep and they hurt the character of both the giver as well as the receiver. If I could have lifted my eyes and reflected my feelings with strength, maybe the situation would have changed for us both. We need a word or phrase that can instantly call out the action for what it is.
If you feel it, say it and feel the empowerment of it. The more of it that happens, the louder you should be until it can no longer be ignored. If you are the one they say it to, stop and think about what you just said and maybe you will understand the impact of the words you project. You need to change that or bully will define your character.
Let’s make this a movement that can “Stomp Out” the harmful effects of bullying.
Written with the help of my granddaughter Natalie Small