Friday, August 26, 2011

Showing Respect

I had a discussion on my own anti-bullying page the other day about respect. What is the difference between showing respect toward someone you like and admire and being respectful toward someone you don't like?

Is there such a thing? Why do I need to be respectful toward people I don't like, or toward people who don't like me?

In my eyes, the answer is simple. We show respect toward people because it's the right thing to do, and because we are role models for the next generation. If we are teaching people that bullying is not right, then why not be the bigger person and show respect for all individuals?

I'm not saying that we have to like everyone we meet. That can be darned near impossible. There are always personality conflicts and disagreements and different values. It would be unrealistic if we were to ask people to like everyone they met. However, it IS realistic to ask people to at least show respect to all individuals no matter how they feel about them.

Being respectful simply means not reacting or acting in a negative way toward the person you don't like. It means not rolling your eyes, or talking about them behind their back, or bullying them. It means walking away, instead of engaging in rude behavior toward that person. It means agreeing to disagree in a polite manner when there are opposing views of a topic. It means allowing others to have those views without putting them down.

One of my members said something I thought was very true. "You may not get reciprocation but that's not too terribly important. What's important is doing the right thing by attempting to agree to disagree without being insulting or overbearing."

Another person said, "To an observer, there should be no difference at all." I think this sums it all up perfectly.

I teach my kids about respect all of the time. I would be very hypocritical if I did not show respect toward others in return. My children are my observers, and I am their role model. They should never have to ask me if I don't like a person, by my actions and behavior.

Children learn what they live. It's something I think we should all remember.


Friday, August 12, 2011

My experience with cyber-bullies

The word that comes to mind at the moment, is "Wow!" - I have just experienced for the first time, being cyber bullied tonight. The ironic thing about this, is that it came from a facebook support group!!

I have recently been diagnosed with borderline personality disorder, and in order to understand that disorder more, and get support from people who also have it, I joined 2 support groups on facebook. Tonight, I engaged in a disagreement (which I believed was an adult conversation and was handled respectfully on my part) with an administrator, who deleted me right away without being warned. He told a person later, that I was being paranoid and I was having a bad day. Ummmm....people with bpd ARE paranoid and we DO have bad days! That was part of the "support" in the group. DUH! lol

Anyway, that wasn't too bad, until he began to leave private messages which were hateful, and followed me to ANOTHER support group (after messaging people, asking them if I were in that group, so he could join also) and began talking about me non-stop. I chose to block him so I wouldn't have to endure what he was saying, which apparently was against the rules in that group (I totally don't get that rule). So in order to stay in the group, I had to unblock him and watch as he continued to talk about me and lie about the incident that had occurred.

Needless to say, I removed myself from that group as well. Members of both groups, began to send me private messages, telling me what this guy was saying, and they all thought he was being very hateful and out of control. I responded by saying that he would be showing his true colors very soon and people would most likely be leaving the groups he was a part of. I was right. Many people have started leaving now because of him. point is this. For the most part, I am a strong individual, but I certainly have my fair share of bad days, as we all do from time to time. Today was one of them, due to certain circumstances at home (I missed an important appointment and our dog died today). However, if I weren't such a strong minded person, what this guy was doing to me, could have sent me on a tailspin downwards.

He was hateful, spiteful, vindictive and rude. He laughed at the post I made about my dog dying, and he talked about me in public, even though I never said a word about HIM in public. He was trying to make me feel bad, and he was trying to make me leave the group (which obviously he succeeded). I did the best thing I could do, which was to get out of the situation and delete and block him so I would not have to see what he was saying. I also reported him to the administrators of facebook and I left the support group completely.

Those who have not been cyber bullied, have no idea how this feels. It's completely different than being bullied face to face, because a lot of people do not know how to handle a situation online. People don't want to delete or block the person, because it is our instinct to want to know what is being said about us. We want to defend ourselves and we have this "need to know" mentality, even if knowing is going to hurt us.

My plea for people if you encounter such a devastating situation online, to PLEASE get offline, or delete and block the person who is wanting to harm you. There is NO reason to put up with something like that. Report it to the appropriate officials, and then learn to let it go yourself. Easier said than done, I realize...but in order for us to keep our sanity in tact, that is the best solution.

Please...take precautions and keep yourselves safe, by being aware of what is being posted online, and by deleting, blocking and reporting individuals who are not good for you. You will feel much better about yourself, and you will be free of the bullies in cyberspace.

Thank you.


Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Summer Ending and Fall Beginnings...

“There are better things ahead than any we leave behind.”
by C.S Lewis

I can't believe that the end of summer is at our front door. It has been an eventful one and I must admit, I am sad to see it end... My Family and I have really had so much fun together, we spent most of our time at the beach with relatives and friends. It's always hard to say goodbye to those you love, and good times that have been had. The times that you spend with your family are precious moments. They can never be duplicated or relived. I think about how fast they have grown and will someday be going to college and I wonder how did we get here so fast. They were just babies. I feel very blessed to have three healthy girls who are such good role models, at least in my mind they are. Of course they all have their moments, but for the most part they are caring good hearted kids with very good heads on their shoulders. When we are young, we are so carefree and view the world through rose colored glasses....I wish for them that it will always be this way, but of course we know that it doesn't always stay golden...It thrills me to listen to their views on various subjects, knowing that they have not been tarnished by the outside world yet. Childhood should be just that...A CHILDHOOD. It is unfortunate that so many are robbed of their right of passage, being young and enjoying what all life has to offer...
One of my favorite quotes by Robert Frost always helps me realize that we must all take time to enjoy of our lives and the lives of our children, because CHILDHOOD is gone in a blink of an eye so remember....
Nature's first green is gold,
Her hardest hue to hold.
Her early leaf's a flower;
But only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf.
So Eden sank to greif,
So dawn goes to day.
Nothing Gold can stay.
And Remember, As Always, Be Sweet...
Dori Lowry