Monthly Archives: April 2015

Your words are weapons…be careful how you use them.

I heard this quote on a TV show today. It was an episode about bullying and it’s something that’s been on my mind lately. There’s this big push these days (and rightly so) to stop bullying in schools and on social media but I’m starting to wonder if the message is getting lost in the chaos.

What is bullying? When I was a kid getting bullied, it was being called names, being surrounded by kids in the playground and pushed to the ground, kicked and hit. It was a constant harassment that left me feeling worthless and alone and it’s something that’s stayed with me my whole life. I never could figure out what it was that made me such a target. Every time I would come up with a reason…I was too fat, too ugly, always the new girl…I would see someone just like me living happy and bully free and it was just one more thing that added to the pain.

What does bullying mean now? I think I’m a little confused. I’m sure it still includes the things that used to happen, but there seems to be so much more to it. With the advent and rampant use of social media, there’s so many more ways that people can make your life miserable and it scares me because keeping track of all the stuff my daughter is into is sometimes a daunting task.

But I wonder if somehow the bullying rally cry has caused some people to be confused about what it really is, especially with teenagers. There seems to be this thing where “I’m telling people you’re bullying me” becomes a threat in itself. If your friend doesn’t always agree with you, that’s not bullying. If they have a bad day and get snappy or sarcastic with you, that’s not bullying. If they hang out with someone else when you wanted to be hanging with them, that’s not bullying.

If they are hitting you, tormenting you, calling you names, making your life miserable, that’s bullying. It can be a one time occurrence or an ongoing campaign of pain and violence. It has consequences that bullies sometimes can’t even imagine…horrific consequences that send out never-ending ripples of pain and heartache.

Calling someone a bully is a big thing. It can rip apart their life and haunt them for a long time. If they truly are being a bully, then they deserve the scrutiny. But if you’re mad at them for not doing or being what you want and then accuse them of being a bully? Then the bully in that situation is you. And by accusing people of bullying when they really aren’t, you’re cheapening the word and lessening it’s impact. And that hurts the people who really are being tormented because it makes people pay less attention when they should be paying more.

Words can be weapons…I’ve never heard a truer statement. They can tear lives apart and destroy someone’s happiness and peace of mind.

But they can be healing too. Forgiveness and understanding can go a long way in fixing a relationship with a friend. Knowing that sometimes people say hurtful things without meaning to on a bad day. Stop and think about the person who hurt your feelings and the relationship you’ve had with them. If their hurtful actions are out of character for them, if they’re usually good and kind and someone you count on to be there for you, then maybe talk to them, see what’s going on with them and maybe you can make both of you feel better.

Maybe it’s time we all stop and think about the words that we use. Because a weapon’s only use is violence and violence, in any connotation just destroys things.

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Filed under bullying, This is important.

The post in which I get myself in trouble again. Discrimination…What the hell?

So, life has been challenging as of late and blogging has fallen off my radar, but recent goings on in the good old US of A have my blood boiling.

You know, every time I think “wow, things are changing so much for the LGBT community and equality seems to be making its way forward around the world” something happens to remind me how far there still is to go.

So, the thing that’s getting to me is this religious discrimination law in Indiana. And this is where I get myself into trouble. I have people whom I love dearly whose faith in God is the thing that gets them through life’s trials. I sometimes envy them that faith because it helps them when times are tough but as much as I’ve tried, I just can’t go along with their way of thinking. I don’t judge them for it, or look down on them for it and I’m more than happy to agree to disagree on the subject because in the end, the thing I do believe in is treating people the way I want to be treated. I think the world would be a much better place if everyone could just get that through their head.

But of course, there’s always those people who don’t have room in their minds and their hearts for a live-and-let-live attitude and it’s something that just pisses me off to no end.

I have so much to say, but getting it organized in my head isn’t always easy so I’m going to start here:

It strikes me as funny that these people who are so determined to have these laws to protect religious freedom don’t seem to understand that theirs isn’t the only religion. These people wanted the right to refuse service to the LGBT community based on their religious beliefs and now they have it. (I’m a little curious about how these businesses are going to tell if someone is gay or not? Will there be a lie detector at the door?)

Can you imagine, however, the outcry if a business owner refused to serve a woman because their religion states that women shouldn’t be out in public uncovered and unaccompanied by a man? Or if someone refused to serve a customer because their god is the only true god so they can in good conscience serve a someone who’s Jewish, or Muslim, Christian or Buddist?

Or how about this scenario?

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Bet a bunch of you are laughing…that could never happen you say. You’re being ridiculous Cindy!

But it’s something that’s in realm of possibility with these laws in place. I admit that I don’t know all the details of the law, or how it’s to be enforced. I don’t know which business situations they will be relevant to, but it doesn’t really matter. The fact that it is on the books in any way shape or form is offensive and deeply troubling.

I don’t understand the need to discriminate against anyone and while I’m not sure exactly where I stand on God as a whole, I do know that to me, the religion that is preached rarely seems to be the religion that’s practiced. If there truly is a God and we are to believe that he’s a good, kind and merciful God who just wants us to be good to one another, then how can you ever believe that this kind of behavior is anything that he would want?

If you feel the need to look down on someone for any reason…skin color, sexual orientation, looks, financial status or any of the many reasons that cause people to become bigots…maybe you should stop looking at a book written so long ago and look at yourself and figure out what it is about YOU that makes you need to hurt someone to feel better about yourself.

As you all know, I’m a writer who’s main characters are all members of the LGBT community and a bunch of authors I know are putting together a fundraiser in response to the one that’s popped up for the pizza joint in Indiana that stated they wouldn’t serve gays and lesbians. A ton of money is being raised so these people can continue to discriminate against those who don’t deserve it so surely we can raise a bunch of cash to help people who are being discriminated against!

It will be simple, make a donation to a LGBT charity and you have a chance to win something! Tons of authors are offering up prizes, including me and it will be posted on April 18th. I will post the link then and I hope you all will participate. Do something good to help people and get a chance to win a prize!

Anyway, I’m stepping down off my soapbox now. I know I’m probably gonna get some shit for this but to be honest I just don’t care. I’m tired of watching people being treated like crap because of who they love. It really makes no sense to me.

Be good to each other. Strain your brain to look outside the box and see if you can find a way to see things from a different point of view. It’s something I struggle to do every day and I’m hoping it makes me a better person.

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Filed under Monday Rants, Things that bug me., This is important.