#WATWB – Your Monthly Shot Of News That Doesn’t Suck

Back in the day, when I was a wee lad in school, I caught a lot of shit from jocks because of my weight. While it only came to blows a few times (including an epic arm twist by yours truly), it was a constant problem. What jackass is going to pull my pants down today or try to beat me up so his buddies will think he’s cool? On and on and on. To this day, if I ever ran across one of my tormentors, I’d have to struggle with myself to not smash his smirking face in.

And therein lies the real danger with bullying. The physical injuries usually heal up pretty quickly, but the mental injuries stick around for a very long time. Forever in some cases.

My son’s school – and apparently most of the schools in the country – have taken a zero-tolerance approach to bullying. Bully someone and you’re done. Do not pass go, do not collect two hundred dollars. Get your things and get the hell out.

This is a good thing. Also, it’s a good thing that seems to be working. According to the Harvard Medical School, fewer teens (ages 12-18) are reporting being bullied. In fact, the number is down by a full third. So, either the bullies have become so successful that no one wants to rat them out or bullying has become so intolerable that fewer people are engaging in it. I guess it’s also possible that kids who were once bullied are fighting back.

The very last time I took a bully to task was after he jumped me from behind. I flipped him over my shoulder and told him in no uncertain terms that if he ever messed with me again I would kill him. Understand, this was a heat of the moment kind of thing when I was just a kid, so I wouldn’t have actually killed him, but bullies are dumb and weak and he believed me. For the rest of the year, every time that kid saw me, he took off in the opposite direction.

For those of you less inclined to resort to violence and threats, the world at least seems to be changing for the better. It shouldn’t hurt to be a kid and you definitely shouldn’t have to put up with dumbass jocks shaking your down for your lunch money.

Read Harvard Medical School’s post here and feel a little better.

If you’d like to connect your blog and help spread a little joy (or snark, like I do), it’s easy to sign up. Just ask and ye shall receive. Or go check it out here: here.

Our co-hosts for the month are the lovely and talented:
Sylvia McGrath, Sylvia Stein, Shilpa Garg, Eric Lahti and Belinda Witzenhausen

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And now, your moment of Zen.

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17 thoughts on “#WATWB – Your Monthly Shot Of News That Doesn’t Suck

  1. I love the way your posts are never saccharin-sweet. Keep at it. Good news, delivered Lahti-style. And I love the GIF with Nelson. Icing on the cake.

    One of these days you’ll post one of those “If this dont make u cry, ur hartless” things, and we’ll know you’ve been replaced by a pod person.

    1. I love that Nelson line. It’s so perfect. And don’t worry, I don’t do the “make you cry” thing. Not my bag. If you ever see one, send someone to take me out because I’ve lost my marbles. Or been taken over by pods. 🙂

    1. Yeah, that’s been the common reaction for decades. “It’s not that big a deal”, “No one got really hurt”, “You need to learn to deal with it”, blah, blah, blah. It is a big deal and it needs to stop.

  2. I’m so glad that bullies/bullying is dead. This form of loutish behaviour needs to be phased out of our lives as children have enough stresses to deal with. Unfortunately bullying itself is a human trait that persists in adult life too ….. thanks for your Yoga Dog. After an easy stretch myself, I realise that I wish I was the dog! That’s the dog’s life to have 😉 Thank you for hosting this challenge.

    1. Bullying ain’t dead yet, but it’s dying out. The behavior that was acceptable when I was growing up is getting less acceptable. I had a time in biology class when a kid (one of our star basketball players) drug a box knife against my leg so I kicked him. Rather than escalate and watch their star jock get in trouble, it got buried and we both got a stern talking to. Nowadays, that (hopefully) would mean big trouble.

  3. Bully for less bullying! I don’t know if you know this particular phrase but it means good on you, as in bully for you … I wonder if less overt bullying may lead to something else of which I have no clue, but maybe something destructive nevertheless. But perhaps less bullying may mean more of an appreciation for one’s friends and that it’s better to be friends and comrades than bugger up another as a way of outlet of aggression inter alia .. Nice post thank you & for co-hosting this month’s #WATWB …

    1. I had heard “bully for x” before. It’s a good phrase that’s unfortunately dropped out of use. Hopefully, we’ll eventually see a world where bullying vanishes. Thanks for dropping by!

  4. That’s certainly a piece of good news. It will be wonderful to reach the day when the concept is so obsolete we’ll have to turn to our history recorders to figure out what it once meant.

  5. I can empathize, Eric. Being always a small lad, and moving towns as a youngster, I got my share of jibes and so on. It is always heartening to hear progress made on child bullying, and to have Harvard back it up with a study gives it more credibility. We still have a way to go with adult bullying in workplaces, but there is hope in those spheres too. Thanks for sharing and co-hosting.

    1. Workplace and online bullying are still a thing. Workplace is the worst. With online bullying you can usually rest assured that the bully is living in his mom’s basement and safely ignore him. But with workplace, you’ve got bosses who can fire you or worse if you push back. Fortunately, I haven’t had to deal with the workplace so much – just a couple times of falling out of favor with the “in group”.

  6. Bullying happens at any age, I’ve discovered. Adults can be just as intimidated as kids. What I love is that schools are giving kids the tools to deal with bullies and giving bullies the tools to understand themselves and their own sense of powerlessness. Several years ago here in Minnesota, a teen got fed up with the bullying going on online and created his own movement — I can’t remember now if it was on Twitter or Facebook — of “being nice” online. It turned into a big thing here in the state. I wish I could remember all the details. Thanks for this wonderfully bracing post of provocative positivity! I love that it’s making me think….(smile)

    1. What a cool idea. The general idea of gentle discourse would go a long way toward handling disputes. It’s certainly better than the lies and personal attacks we usually see online these days.

  7. Eric, I’m sorry that you were the recipient of bullying as a child. Even though that was a very negative experience for you and has had emotional repercussions, it’s also created empathy in you and I imagine you’ve instilled that same empathy in your son so that he treats others as he wants to be treated.

    I’m glad to hear that more and more schools are adopting the no-tolerance policy against bullying. It’s far overdue.

  8. I remember those days, not fondly, as long ago as they were. Remember the movie, I think it was “My Bodyguard”? Somehow a neighbor kid became mine. He was bigger and badder than anyone else and once I had him, nobody messed with me. Much later on, when I was gainfully employed post high school, I ran into him and he mentioned he had just got out of the “workhouse” for beating somebody up. It’s a Midwest name for the local jail.

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