Whoever coined the phrase “sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me” was both a liar and was giving bullies bad ideas. Bullying is a sad subject. But sometimes we must look at the sad things in order to improve our own outlook and to help improve others. Do you remember being bullied? I certainly do. Few people can say they were never teased or hurt by their peers, even if it was not extreme.
Nerds, geeks, freaks, LGBT, disabled, and so many others who are considered “abnormal” (by bullies whose opinions shouldn’t matter) are subject to cutting words and physical violence. Poet Shane Koyczan was subjected to such treatment in school, along with some of his friends. He wrote a spoken word poem called “To This Day” along with creating an animated art project in order to spread the word on the harm bullying causes to children and the adults they will become.
As it says on his website:
Schools and families are in desperate need of proper tools to confront this problem. We can give them a starting point…A message that will have a far reaching and long lasting effect in confronting bullying. Animators and motion artists brought their unique styles to 20 second segments that will thread into one fluid voice. This collaborative volunteer effort will demonstrate what a community of caring individuals are capable of when they come together.
For almost my entire academic career I was bullied. I had rumors spread about me, was physically assaulted, pranked, tricked, and was subjected to many a cruel and heartless joke. Bullying can destroy your self-esteem, make you feel worthless. To this day I still struggle with those memories. Though I became stronger for it, I wished I could have gained my strength without having to be torn down first. Yet there is always hope. I have hope that tomorrow will be better. That we as citizens, as family members, as friends, and fellow human beings may find a way to make things better. However, it has to start with you. Please, even if poetry isn’t your thing, watch this video. It just may change your life.