It's Time To Change How We Address Bullying

It's Time To Change How We Address Bullying

If bullying is treated as an issue to push out of the way, cover up or move on from, it won't ever truly be over for the people being victimized.

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When I was in the sixth grade, I dealt with bullying that became so bad that I had to go to dozens of meetings with the principal and other teachers to handle the situation. The boy who was bullying me found ways to make the situation so drawn out and difficult, I eventually wished that I never spoke up in the first place. I remember the bullying, but I mainly remember the way it was handled so poorly by adults who were in positions designated to help and protect students like me. My close friends came to my defense, but witnesses and other students didn't want to offer help, maybe out of fear of being bullied themselves, or being called a snitch. It also could have been uninterest or a lack of empathy.

It never felt like the school cared that bullying existed within their community. To me, it looked as if they cared more about squaring away the issue in a timely manner, and without making too much of a scene. If bullying is treated as an issue to push out of the way, cover up or move on from, it won't ever truly be over for the people being victimized.

That's why it's time to re-evaluate and change how bullying is tackled as a whole, and as a society. And in order to do that, we must shift our mindset from the negative to the positive. And no, I don't mean 'look on the bright side' because there isn't a bright side to the sad nature of bullying, and the harm people are able to do to others. But rather looking at society as a whole, and the communities within to find ways to create an environment of real respect, unconditional kindness, and a desire to stand up and to support those around them. This means teaching and instilling a community of support that goes beyond direct friend groups that often cause exclusion within themselves.

The BRAVE movement represents this idea perfectly. BRAVE, an acronym standing for Building Respect And Values for Everyone, calls on students to be stand-byers instead of bystanders, meaning they stand up, defend the victim and offer support, instead of watching and doing nothing. It also encourages kids to strive to be more inclusive to their peers, going out of their way to show kindness, and pay attention to everyone around them.

It's easy to understand why preventing bullying is important. The damages of bullying are long-lasting and traumatic. Alternatively, bullying is often the first step in a road of violence, and fostering respect and compassion could ultimately prove to be a critical part of a bigger need to end the dangerous cycle. While legislation and school policies can always be improved upon and strengthened to better address bullying, it is also a responsibility that lies on society, communities, and individuals.

Flipping the 'script' on bullying to address the foundation could prove remarkably effective, or even create a bigger impact that goes beyond schools, into a world plagued with a lack of compassion. A world where simply standing by your peer, neighbor or even a stranger could change, or save their life.

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A list Of 15 Inspiring Words That Mean So Much

A single word can mean a lot.
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Positivity is so important in life. A lot of times we always go to quotes for empowerment but I have realized that just one word can be just as powerful. Here is a list of inspiring words.

1. Worthy

Realizing your self-worth is important. Self-worth can really make or break a persons personality. Always know that you are worthy of respect. And also, never compare yourself to others.

2. Courage

Be courageous in life. Life has so many opportunities so do not be scared to grasp any opportunity that comes your way. You have the ability to do anything you have your heart and mind set to do, even the things that frighten you.

3. Enough

When you are feeling down and feeling that nothing you do is ever good enough, know that you are more than enough. And yes there is always room for improvement but when it comes to my self-worth I always have to remind myself that I am enough.

4. Blessed

Be thankful. A lot of times we forget how blessed we are. We focus so much on stress and the bad things that are going on in our lives that we tend to forget all of the beautiful things we have in life.

5. Focus

Focus on your goals, focus on positive things, and focus on the ones you love. Do not focus on things that will keep you from not reaching your goals and people that do not have good intentions for your life.

6. Laugh

Laughing is one of the best forms of medicine. Life is truly better with laughter.

7. Warrior

Through the good and the bad you are a warrior. Be strong, soldier.

8. Seek

Seek new things. Allow yourself to grow in life. Do not just be stuck.

9. Faith

During the bad times, no matter the circumstances, have faith that everything will be all right.

10. Live

Start living because life is honestly way too short. Live life the way you want to live. Do not let anyone try to control you.

11. Enjoy

Enjoy everything that life has to offer. Enjoy even the littlest of things because, as I said before, life is short. And plus, there is no time to live life with regrets.

12. Believe

Believe in yourself and never stop. Believing in yourself brings so many blessings and opportunities in your life.

13. Serendipity

A lot of times we look for things to fill an empty void that we have. Usually what we are looking for comes when we are not looking at all. Your serendipity will come.

14. Create

Share your ideas with the world. Creativity brings change to your life. However you chose to use your creativity do not be scared to show your intelligence, talent, and passion.

15. Love

The world is already full of so much hate, so love unconditionally with all your heart.

Cover Image Credit: Tanveer Naseer

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Better Not Bitter

"Let your past make you better, not bitter."

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After completing my junior year at Iowa State, I have found myself reflecting on a lot of the experiences and people who have helped me get to the point I am at today. Family obviously comes to mind, followed by my friends, my sorority sisters, my boyfriend, my professors, and my mentors. I am able to contribute a lot of my success to their support and compassion that they have shown me throughout my past three years. I am also able to contribute my success to the woman I have grown to be and to the woman I have always wanted to be. You see, three years ago, the woman I was was buried in a toxic relationship that didn't allow me to flourish into the woman I was striving to be.

Let me take a step back, this article is not meant to bash the person who it is about. In fact, it's more of a thank you. Because you see, without him letting go of me, I would have never taken the leaps and bounds out of my comfort zone to become the woman I am so damn proud to be today. This is also not meant to say that I am I glad I was in such a toxic relationship, it was honestly so terrible that I wouldn't wish it upon anyone but I am in fact, thankful. I learned more from that relationship that I have in anything else in my life.

First, I learned to be a fighter, and not in a bad way. I learned to stand up for myself and what I believe in. I have become vocal about my passions and stand up for people when they are treated wrong. I no longer let people walk all over me, but rather I stand my ground firmly and confidently. Thank you.

Second, I learned to be fierce. Fierce in love, kindness, compassion, and willpower. I believe in my abilities and the things I am able to accomplish if I set my mind to something. I have learned that in being fierce, there is absolutely no time to doubt myself which has worked greatly in my favor. I learned that demanding respect in all relationships I have formed has been about me making the decision to make myself a priority and learning to never settle for any less than I deserve, ever again. Thank you.

Third, I learned compassion. I learned to be kind to the other woman, and mostly, to the person who chose to hurt me. It took everything in me to remain kind while I was being hurt, but I am so thankful that I stayed true to the values and morals I was raised on. I have carried this with me throughout the past three years by choosing to show compassion to all people around me, and looking deeper into the reasons behind the actions and decisions that people make. Often times there is something going on behind closed doors and because of that, it is important to always, always radiate kindness. Thank you.

I wanted to extend my gratitude to the person who hurt me because if you hadn't, I wouldn't be the badass, boss girl, powerful woman that I am today. I am confident, smart, loving, and fully capable of giving and receiving the kindest, most sincere kind of love. My life has changed for the better, and I wouldn't change a single thing. I wish you the best, because let me tell ya, it feels great.

By the way, if you ever feel like you deserve better than what you're receiving in a relationship, trust your gut & walk the hell away. It's worth it.

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