Wednesday, 28 March 2012
This photo on Facebook reminded me of a play I was in for high school one-act called After Math. It started out as a comedy. These math students all took turns telling their version of the story of why their classmate suddenly doesn't show up at school or was he taken out of school, I don't remember which it was.
But anyway I was Alice, the girl who was obsessed with aliens and was pretty sure that Emmett, the main character, was my secret alien lover. But as the play progresses we learn more and more about Emmett and about how he was picked on every day. And how no one really knew who he was or what was going on in his life. No one understood the pain they were inflicting on him by their harsh words or worse yet by their rumors and glares.
The conclusion we came to, as the cast, was that Emmett committed suicide, but now that I think of it if he was taken out of school maybe that wasn't the case -- regardless its a play that addresses bullying. And it definitely hit home with our cast of misfits. When we performed it the first time for the school everyone really thought we were weirdos; someone even had the audacity to laugh at the word 'testicle' during the passionate monologue about how kids used to pick on Emmett.
Thankfully I never was personally bullied in this way, nor did our high school experience a suicide. But I understand the importance of making kids aware of the consequences of their words and actions during that emotionally fragile stage of life, especially in this day and age when bullying has become even easier due to the wonderful world of social networking sites.
This is what God has to say about the power of what we say and the value of a human being:
7 For every species of beasts and birds, of reptiles and creatures of the sea, is tamed and has been tamed by the human race. 8 But no one can tame the tongue; it is a restless evil and full of deadly poison. 9 With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in the likeness of God; 10 from the same mouth come both blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not to be this way. 11 Does a fountain send out from the same opening both fresh and bitter water? 12 Can a fig tree, my brethren, produce olives, or a vine produce figs? Nor can salt water produce fresh.
Did you or do you experience bullying? Did someone you know experience bullying? How did you or do you respond to those situations? How can Christians fight back against the trends of bullying in schools and online?