The latest shooting of young people by young people in Chardon, Ohio adds yet another school, town and group of kids to the list of people whose lives will never be the same thanks to one angry kid with a gun. How many times must this happen before college and high school students say enough is enough and do something to change the fundamental nature of the social dynamics on high school and university campuses?
These shootings are instigated by meanness and by a culture and society that condones and promotes clicks, groups and Facebook Friends. What happens to the kids that don’t have Friends but still want to play online games? How many of us have ever stopped to think about that problem? I know a kid who has it and he explained to me that there are whole websites that provide fake friends for the friendless that want to play games. Great, so all the isolated geeks can stay isolated.
Each and every person has the power to choose to include or exclude others from their wall and from their lives. We all have the power to choose. However, we also have the same power to be gentle when we exclude.
Bullying exists on so many levels in both college and high school. Most bullying doesn’t involve fists or guns. Bullying often manifests itself in snide remarks about clothing, “You aren’t going to wear that are you?” Schoolwork, “You don’t understand that problem, you’re so LAME!” Decorating, “So did your mom choose your college bedding ?” Once in awhile bully remarks can be funny but they can also pile up like logs on a fire. It’s anyone’s guess as to when the person on the other end might just light a match and explode. Then who pays? We all do.
From today I'm going to try to live by my mother’s words:
“Before you say anything, check it in your mind and ask yourself: Is it honest, is it necessary and is it kind.”