Macon Chronicle-Herald - Macon, MO

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  • Growing up many of us were faced with teasing, shunning, or ridicule for the way we behaved or looked. It is hard for a child to understand the reasoning behind someone not wanting to play with them, or for being made fun of for the new pair of glasses that doctors feel they need to see properly.
    Those who don’t have the athletic capabilities to run fast, or have the agility to score the winning point are left alone in a lineup of children who feel unworthy, while the most popular, cutest, or most athletic are congregated on one side of the field or gym.
    For generations, bullying has been played down, or been made light of, and people have suffered for it. Bullying occurs everywhere around the globe when people of all ages aren’t tolerant of each other.Probably because in actuality most teasing wasn’t done to hurt anyone, they were, “just having some fun.” But to the person who is being teased or ignored, it can enhance their feelings of inadequacy, and enhance a feeling of failure or weakness.
    Everyone wants to feel like they belong. Some say that empathy needs to be taught at a very early age so bullying will be avoided or at least lessened. Teaching a child to accept others for who they are, and that different behaviors do not give anyone just cause to taunt and tease others.
    According to stopbullying.gov , adults should respond quickly and consistently to bullying behavior and send the message that it is not acceptable.
    But bullying doesn’t end in school. There are adults who seem to enjoy leaving others with a sense of ineffectiveness. Constantly focusing on the failures of a person, and not looking at their accomplishments, could leave a person focusing on their own flaws and a barrier will be built making achievements difficult.
    Different from constructive criticism or conflict, bullying is persistent, it focuses on a person rather than a task, and the recipient feels powerless to stop it. Worst of all, employees who experience bullying find that it’s just as hard to explain and stop the abuse as it is to suffer through it. Recognizing the warning signs is an important first step in taking action against bullying.
    Until we realize that not everyone will accomplish things swiftly, have a clear complexion, be able to fit in skinny jeans, or jump all the hurdles bullying will continue. The more you know about bullying, the more you can stop it. And it must stop.
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