Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Kids Get It

I saw this video today, and to me it just shows how much more the kids today know about bullying compared to the adults.  While I am trying to encourage my daughters to be strong and be themselves, and while I am trying to work with our parish's teens to teach them to live the golden rule, a lot of adults - a lot of LOUD adults - are trying to play down the bullying problem or blame the victims.  I have been told I am setting my kids up to be bullied and I should encourage them to "fit in" and match the crowd.  But isn't that backwards?  Shouldn't we be teaching acceptance, understanding, and celebrating diversity?  Isn't diversity what makes us stronger?  Our country is capable of doing so many different things because we have so many different people. If we all thought the same way, our growth would be so limited.  The kids get it, though.  They are fighting back and are standing up to the adults saying, "Wait, we've gone to far.  We have to start changing our attitudes."  Instead of saying, "Gay kids deserve to be tormented; beating up geeks and nerds is an American tradition; people who dare to look or sound different - whether or not they they can control it - should be driven from the herd," the teens are saying, "we need to stop making school a place to dread and start making it a place to learn; we need to stop finding differences and start finding similarities; we need to stop trying to force people to be like us and just learn how to live side by side."  I am encouraged by the changes I see in the teens I work with.  I am saddened because I have seen how very bad the bullying has gotten - much worse than it was when I was a teen.  I am angered because teens are not getting the support they need to grow.  Adults need to step up to the plate and stop bullying each other and really need to stop justifying bad behavior.  They need to start listening to the kids.

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