Call me a curmudgeon if you will, a cynic, a glass-half empty type, but I will not be wearing pink on anti-bullying day. The story of how this pink wearing day came about is heartwarming and full of compassion. I cry when I read it. But making it a day and cause is not support, it’s an empty gesture. I mean, who is FOR bullying? Not the victims. Not even the bullies. The problem is what to do in the actual moment and aftermath of bullying.
A couple of years ago a boy at school ridiculed my daughter. She cried.
A week later, I saw him at a school field trip wearing pink in support of the anti-bullying cause.
So, you see wearing pink on anti-bullying day doesn’t actually mean you’re not a bully. Because in my book saying mean things to people to the point that they cry is being a bully. You see how that works?
Well, it’s not like the bullies have their own club do they? Bullies don’t see themselves as bullies.
But in our culture, being seen to be in support of something or against something is more important than actually incorporating that message into our behaviour. We love joining facebook groups, wearing ribbons, waving signs even (although that might be going a little far ’cause jeez it’s cold outside), but the cold hard reality of trying to get through the day without a paper cup of coffee, or a plastic bag, or keeping my bone marrow, kidneys, and blood to myself, well, it’s a bit much eh?
But people are like that aren’t they? We (and by we, I mean you) don’t like changing our (your) behaviour or thinking of (y)ourselves in a poor light.
How many times have you heard in the workplace (or the home for that matter):
I’m all for everyone else working harder. Me? I’m in a perpetual sweat here. My fingers are worn down to the nubs and I’m having heart palpitations from work-induced anxiety. It’s true I haven’t missed House, Bones, Law and Order (all versions), CSI (all versions), The Bachelor, Survivor, Trading Spaces, Prank Patrol, Lost or 24 for the last 6 months, but I’m sure I was working while I did that. See how the floor in front of the tv is very clean?
I once asked someone to look into something for me (not because I was lazy, of course not, see above) but because she had access to information that I simply did not. And it was her job to help me out. After a few weeks of hearing nothing I asked if she had found out anything.
Uhmm, yes, I asked this other person who thought she’d heard that the programme was full. And we really don’t think you’d benefit from the programme anyway.
You asked someone who THOUGHT she HEARD? What kind of an answer is that?
And that’s not even the funny part.
After expressing to her that I was going to have to figure out how to find that information myself because I wasn’t going to let it go, she said to me:
Okay. Let me know if I can be a support to you.
???? again! First of all, you must not know what those words mean because I already gave you a chance to be a support to me. Secondly, you could have been a support to me by finding out the information I asked you to find out instead of making me circumnavigate a bureaucracy I’m not plugged into because 3) That’s what support looks like.
So, my point, and I think there’s one here, is that you should do a better job of being all the things you claim to be.
Me? I’m doing a great job thanks.
As my son once said “No one understands the Golden Rule. You know how I know that? No one is treating me the way I’d like to be treated.”