Why We Bully
When someone trips and falls, they’re always the one’s laughing the loudest. There isn’t really a choice other than to laugh it off but it is of course embarrassing. Thinking back to the beginning of high school, our orientation day comes to mind. We, the new grade 8’s and the grade 12’s went to the park for the day, and we tried to act cool and confident around the grade 12’s as they gave us the scoop on what to expect for the next 5 years of our lives.
I don’t remember much from that day, but I do remember clearly seeing one of the grade 12’s, we’ll call him Josh, being badly mistreated by the others. This was happening in front of everyone, and it was all supposed to be a joke. Everyone was laughing, but of course, Josh was laughing the loudest. In that moment, the grade 12’s set a clear example for all of the new students.
In school I would see it happening all around me - people hiding real pain behind laughter, and this is why it often went unnoticed. Bullying never seemed so serious at the time for 2 main reasons. The first being that everyone was doing it and the second being that the victim was laughing it off, so clearly it couldn’t be affecting them much.
Ten years after graduating from high school, I can see how wrong this thinking was. Being in school now, it might be hard to care about how you’ll see things in the future, but time flies and trust me, you’ll care. Another thing that doesn’t sit well is remembering having not stood up for people when they needed it. Even if it’s awkward to say something to the bully, letting the victim know you don’t agree with what happened can help.
It is crucial that bullying not be underestimated, especially since it can be so easily concealed with a smile.