Taking a stand against bullying and bullies. I’ve been thinking about this noble position and I began to consider that actual impact of protests, rallies, and how we define a bully. Here’s a dictionary definition of bully:
Bully – noun
1. a blustering, quarrelsome, overbearing person who habitually badgers and intimidates smaller or weaker people.
2. Archaic. a man hired to do violence.
3. Obsolete. a pimp; procurer.
4. Obsolete. good friend; good fellow.
5. Obsolete. sweetheart; darling.
Bully – verb (used with object)
6. to act the bully toward; intimidate; domineer.
I was shocked to learn the some of the now obsolete uses of the word “bully”; good friend, sweetheart. With certainty, the polar opposite of the common use today.
I then looked at the word protest as a noun, as in “Anti-Bullying Protest” specifically.
Protest – noun
1. an expression or declaration of objection, disapproval, or dissent, often in opposition to something a person is powerless to prevent or avoid: a protest against bullying
1. being against
Putting these definitions together, an anti-bullying protest would actually mean the disapproval (protest) of being against (anti) an overbearing person who intimidates smaller or weaker people (bully). An anti-bullying protest is a double negative. I don’t want to be a part of a group which, by their name, indicates they are supportive of bullies. Now I know that’s not the intention, but that is truly what an Anti-Bullying Protest is. So, let’s wordsmith this.
What is a rally? Again, dictionary definition states:
Rally – verb (used with object)
1. to bring into order again; gather and organize or inspire anew
2. to draw or call (persons) together for a common action or effort
3. to concentrate or revive, as one’s strength, spirits, etc
Rally – verb (used without object)
4. to come together for common action or effort
5. to come together or into order again
6. to come to the assistance of a person, party, or cause
7. to find renewed strength or vigor
Rally – noun
8. a renewal or recovery of strength, activity, etc.
9. a drawing or coming together of persons, as for common action, as in a mass meeting.
So, let’s be solution focused. We all want to bring an end to bullying. A protest almost seems to be well intentioned bullying. Bringing together a group of like-minded individuals to demand change, to essentially force our will onto another person, group or organization. Sounds like organized bullying in a sense. Instead, let’s rally to support those in need. Imagine the change that would be brought on by the dame group of “protesters” instead showing up at the Thames Valley District School Board Office and rally. Tell the school board administration that we need change. We need to see children safe in our schools. We need teachers to be able to teach in schools. Now, we are here to help. What do you need?
Can you imagine how that would screw up the traditional system? Let’s not become school board bullies ourselves but rather be a part of the solution. Rally your support and help the school board make change in the system. Be part of the solution. Don’t be a bully and make demands for change if you are not prepared to step up and help.
Everyone has a story. How will yours be told? Are you a bully or a problem solver?