Building Character, One Bully At A Time

Building Character, One Bully At A Time

Bullying shouldn't have such a negative connotation.
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Bullying today has such a negative connotation. Bullying is something that everyone deals with at some point in their life. We are always shown documentaries on it and “worst-case-scenario” situations. At some point or another, schools make sure to give their students the bullying talk to avid any “worst-case-scenario” situations.

Well, I'm not going to sit here and write another article for you about how bullying is bad, and how no one should do it, and how it hurts people, and how we need to take action... etc. etc.

This is an article about why bullying is okay.

I definitely had my fair-share of bullies in my day and even though it sucked when the bullying was happening, I'm a better person today because of it. Instead of sitting around feeling sorry for myself and wanting someone to defend me, I'm stronger. Instead of getting sad about someone name-calling me or excluding me, I don't waste my tears or my time.

In today's day and age, we live in a hyper-sensitive society. Everyone is quick to play the victim and point fingers at “bullies”, but no one is willing to take their bullying experience, and use it to grow as a person. Instead of feeling sorry for ourselves, we should challenge ourselves and try to be better and prove bullies wrong, and/or embrace our flaws as right.

When we are bullied we want the bullying to stop, but we don't have control over the bullies. All we can control is ourselves and our reactions. Being bullied teaches you reality. Though many parents want their children to be untouched and kept in a little bubble, bullying is good for growth; it helps build character. Bullying teaches kids social and social norms. Yes, many bullies are malicious and have bad intentions, but bullying is part of life when it comes to relationships and social situations. Without being bullied we probably wouldn't know how to handle ourselves in certain situations. We need to stop looking at bullying as someone always being a victim. Because yeah, it's hard when it's happening, but once it's over and you look back, you appreciate that you went through the experience.

Kids need to learn they cannot do whatever they want always. There are standards that kids need to be held to, especially in school, such as respecting your teacher, doing your work, etc. For example, if a child is being disrespectful to a teacher and the other kids or teacher are “bullying” the child in return, maybe the child will change their ways. Maybe the child will realize they are exhibiting an inappropriate behavior. In these situations, the child may not ever change their ways or grow in character if they were never bullied. In a sense, bullying can be interpreted as negative reinforcement by peers.

I'm not talking about cyber bullying or physical bullying, but I am saying that many people overreact when it comes to bullying. Most bullying is name-calling, frenemy, petty kind of stuff. This kind of bullying helps children grow. Of course, there are situations where bullying is severe and malicious, and bullying should absolutely be minimized, but we need to start looking at it in a different way. People look at bullying as a problem that needs to be solved, but someone cannot grow into the person they are meant to be without some kind of constructive criticism from peers. If we aren't bullied we risk wasting our time on people who don't care. Bullying shows you who really cares and who doesn't. How people handle bullying shows true character.

Bullying is important for children's growth and maturity because it helps children to be “put in their place” so to speak by their peers instead of always their parents. If children have a bad behavior and they don't want to listen when their parents discipline them about it (If their parents discipline them about it) they will maybe change the behavior wth their peers. Bullying is a learning experience, not a curse. It's an opportunity for people to be introspective and look within themselves to find who they are really meant to be.

Cover Image Credit: http://images.wisegeek.com/two-kids-with-tongues-out.jpg

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7 Things You Do If You’re One Of Those 'I Always Order Chicken Tenders' People

It's hard to love food but also hate it at the same time.

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Growing up, my mom would usually have to cook me a separate dinner from my siblings. Why? Because I was ridiculously picky and wouldn't eat the same foods as everyone else. Trust me, it gets old. It's not my fault certain things just taste gross, you learn to live with it.

1. You eat something you hate just to see if you still hate it

I'll take a bite of a burger every once in a while just to reaffirm that it still tastes like dirt. I just have to know. Don't even get me started on vegetables.

2. When trying to explain what you actually like to eat, people give you major side eye

Don't ask me about my eating habits unless you want to get into a long, confusing conversation.

3. Eating at someone else’s house when you were younger was a pain

You hate to tell their parents just how much you hate the food that they gave you. So, you sucked it up and ate it anyway only to come home and whine to your parents.

4. There’s one thing on any menu you always fall back on...even if it’s on the kids menu

Pizza, maybe. Chicken tenders, always.

5. Trying a new food is a very proud moment

It's like, wow! Look at me being all adventurous.

6. When you realize you actually like some new food, that’s an even more amazing moment

Crazy times. This rarely happens.

7. Sometimes it’s the texture, sometimes it’s the flavor, all the time it’s left on your plate

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Believe It Or Not, Small Changes In Your Life Can Bring About A Lot Of Positivity

There is a lot of good possible in this world, why not be a part of it?

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Lately, positivity seems like a scarce resource. There always seems to be a breaking news report of some kind of disaster, attack, or previously unknown issue within some facet of our world. However, with all the negativity going on in the world, I think now is the time to talk about some ways to combat some negativity. Sadly, superheroes and superpowers aren't part of our world, and we can't influence cities or millions of lives directly, as much as we would love to. However, we can all still bring some light and positive energy into this world by changing small things in our life, that both send a message to those negative issues in our world or can help us overcome and change the problems our world is facing.

A personal step I've taken has been difficult, and that's been cutting out fast fashion. The true behind-the-scenes workings of fast fashion are growing more and more prominent within the public sphere, and have made me question what I'm willing to ignore in the name of a good deal. Before, I was glad to shop at stores like Forever 21 for their deals, and their on-trend clothes. However, after learning about their far from ethical methods in order to make and sell their clothes at these low prices, I've found myself less drawn in by their sales and styles and instead opting to shop places with more visible and ethical production practices. I'm aware what I'm doing isn't going to end all of the underpaid labor going into the clothes on the sales racks, but I'm glad I stopped my contribution to that system, however small. As a college kid, it can be difficult to get into ethics when buying clothes or any goods, but I definitely recommend the app/website "Good On You." They not only help you discover the impact brands have on different aspects of our world, but they also have some really helpful posts. One I always go to is buying ethically on a college budget, and there are so many that can help people with different incomes and styles find clothing that is made by brands truly trying to make the fashion industry more visibly ethical.

There's a change I'm currently struggling with myself, but that I've seen so many people make over the new year that I think is really amazing. Working at a coffee shop, we use a lot of paper cups, plastic cups, and plastic straws which only get thrown away after one use. However, I'm lucky to work for a company that encourages people to bring in their own mugs or to reuse cups, offering a discount on drinks if they do so. When it comes to water bottles, I never struggled with this—in fact, my family has plenty of reusable water bottles in case any get lost. However, when it comes to reusable mugs and cups for other drinks, I've struggled a bit more, the straw department more. I'm trying to combat this though, despite how convenient plastic cups and straws are. Again, my singular choice to change this aspect of my day to day is not going to end the harm done on the environment, but I feel that stopping my personal contribution is a really good step I, or anyone, can take.

We can't change every aspect of our life or quit what we've been doing for years, cold turkey. There are people out there who truly love shopping at Forever 21 and stores like it or who don't like the idea of having to remember to wash out and bring a reusable mug, cup, or straw every time they plan on going to their local coffee shop. The ethics of a brand, or the impact of waste on the environment just truly aren't huge deals to some people, and that's okay. Regardless, taking the time to evaluate your beliefs and values, and change small parts of your life that directly come into the conflict with those values can bring a lot of good for yourself while also putting it out there into the world. The classic saying goes, "practice what you preach," and taking steps to really doing so in your everyday life can bring about a world of change. These changes may not end unjust labor, environmental issues, or anything large scale in a day, and they're not always easy for us to implement in our daily lives. Just taking the initiative to do so, however difficult, can bring about an amazing amount of positive energy and happiness into our lives, knowing we have stopped our contributions or our own negative impacts to harmful practices going on in our world.

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