The Detrimental Consequence of Ignorance and Lack of Education

The Detrimental Consequence of Ignorance and Lack of Education

Bullying has been going on for years but Cyber Bullying is a more recent phenomenon which has to be eliminated.
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Bullying used to occur in one form such as verbal and physical but today with the advent of social media bullying has taken a new form. It has become extremely difficult to police the internet as the etiquette and norms are still fluid. Bullies have taken advantage of this medium by tormenting their victims anonymously and otherwise. This disease needs to be eliminated, but unfortunately I have not found any treatment to this ailment yet. According to callnerds.com, 42% of kids have been bullied online and the average cyber bully starts at the age of nine. This form of bullying is the most severe as any child is susceptible, because in this day and age every child has access to the internet and is on social media. The scariest part of this type of bullying is that sometimes parents don’t even know that it is happening.

I have dealt with cyber bullying myself as I am a follower of the Sikh Faith which requires men to wear a turban and have uncut hair. Due to the rise of Islamophobia and constant use of social media, teens have been accustomed to associating any picture of a turban wearing man to a terrorist. I have encountered several instances of cyber bullying personally. One such instance was when a student in my school commented online regarding a picture of mine in my school’s yearbook saying “what is this raghead doing in this picture.” Instead of getting angry or hurt, I took this negativity and turned it into something positive. I told a couple of my friends about this student’s comment and they got some friends together and started a campaign to show this student he was out of line. In my junior year of high school, I wrote a book on bullying and then published it. My book titled: “Bullying of Sikh American Children: Through the Eyes of a Sikh American High School Student” was published on November 21, 2015 and is available on www.bullyingsikhamericanchildren.org . The reason I pursued this project during the most difficult year of high school, was the fact that I was keenly aware about the insidious bullying of children in schools across America was increasing primarily due to social media and the bullying of Sikh American children particularly was twice the national average. The solutions I have included in my book which I have used to prevent bullying in my own life are applicable to children of any faith/ethnic group not just Sikh American children. Soon after my book was published, on December 11, 2015, NBC News featured an article about my book http://www.nbcnews.com/news/asian-america/sikh-american-teen-writes-book-raise-awareness-about-bullying-n478426 . I was also invited to speak at the National Bullying and Child Victimization Conference in Orlando, Florida, February 21-24, 2016. https://www.facebook.com/Schoolsafety911/ . The goal of my book is to eliminate bullying in its entirety whether it is physical, verbal, or cyber. The number one cause of bullying is ignorance; the only way to end ignorance is through education.

Cover Image Credit: www.slideshare.net

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Why The Idea Of 'No Politics At The Dinner Table' Takes Place And Why We Should Avoid It

When did having a dialogue become so rare?

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Why has the art of civilized debate and conversation become unheard of in daily life? Why is it considered impolite to talk politics with coworkers and friends? Expressing ideas and discussing different opinions should not be looked down upon.

I have a few ideas as to why this is our current societal norm.

1. Politics is personal.

Your politics can reveal a lot about who you are. Expressing these (sometimes controversial) opinions may put you in a vulnerable position. It is possible for people to draw unfair conclusions from one viewpoint you hold. This fosters a fear of judgment when it comes to our political beliefs.

Regardless of where you lie on the spectrum of political belief, there is a world of assumption that goes along with any opinion. People have a growing concern that others won't hear them out based on one belief.

As if a single opinion could tell you all that you should know about someone. Do your political opinions reflect who you are as a person? Does it reflect your hobbies? Your past?

The question becomes "are your politics indicative enough of who you are as a person to warrant a complete judgment?"

Personally, I do not think you would even scratch the surface of who I am just from knowing my political identification.

2. People are impolite.

The politics themselves are not impolite. But many people who wield passionate, political opinion act impolite and rude when it comes to those who disagree.

The avoidance of this topic among friends, family, acquaintances and just in general, is out of a desire to 'keep the peace'. Many people have friends who disagree with them and even family who disagree with them. We justify our silence out of a desire to avoid unpleasant situations.

I will offer this: It might even be better to argue with the ones you love and care about, because they already know who you are aside from your politics, and they love you unconditionally (or at least I would hope).

We should be having these unpleasant conversations. And you know what? They don't even need to be unpleasant! Shouldn't we be capable of debating in a civilized manner? Can't we find common ground?

I attribute the loss of political conversation in daily life to these factors. 'Keeping the peace' isn't an excuse. We should be discussing our opinions constantly and we should be discussing them with those who think differently.

Instead of discouraging political conversation, we should be encouraging kindness and understanding. That's how we will avoid the unpleasantness that these conversations sometimes bring.

By avoiding them altogether, we are doing our youth a disservice because they are not being exposed to government, law, and politics, and they are not learning to deal with people and ideas that they don't agree with.

Next Thanksgiving, talk politics at the table.

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