OpinionPutting out the fire
Putting out the fire
January 11, 2019
January 11, 2019

There are a lot of things in life that come and go easily. There are also some, no matter how hard we try, that just would not let us be. To me, one of those would be the emotional trauma left by all the bullying I’ve experienced, most especially in elementary. All the while, I thought those bullies would have grown up and have known better ever since. I, again, was wrong.

On December 19 of last year, a video went viral depicting a group of drunk men playing with a dog. One of them jokingly acted as if he was having intercourse with the small animal. It ended with another man tossing the mere puppy outside the balcony, with their venue of revelry being two stories up. It was not hard to identify that one of the people that had become the subject of the public’s hate and disgust was someone whom I knew. This certain someone whom I thought would have changed his ways by now did not. He has become a bully not only to peers but now to an animal as well. The dog was reported to have died after the incident.

Their story and response to criticism, as well as efforts to call the group out, made rounds on different platforms of social media. Shamefully, there were no signs of them being sorry about their acts.

Another video became popular on social media—this time because of a high school student physically hurting his peer, all for an act of fun, for an act of torment. Punches and kicks were blown by the reported black belter bully, while blood and tears were drained out of the victim. The victim did his best to fend himself but was utterly helpless in the situation.

Even if someone else’s guard or walls are down, it should not be logical enough for one to take advantage of such situation. Degrading others in any way or manner should not be a sport.

The incident reached the attention of both the university’s administrative board, as well as that of the Commission on Higher Education, who issued a statement regarding the matter. It seemed as if such higher powers need to hear of the situation before it being resolved from its source.

Both incidents transpired while the offenders’ company took a video of the acts of violence, with the said videos being clear enough to identify both violators. The former an assailant toward an animal, the latter toward a fellow human being. With the former case not yet addressed legally, the high school bully has since been dismissed from his institution after a number  of days being publicized. This action is not harsh; justice, after all, exempts no one.

Regardless of outcome, the public had beforehand already tried to take matters into their own hands.

In an attempt to promote and uphold the rights of these victims, people aired on social media their varied judgment, opinion, and takes on the bullying incidents. With most posts being for ridicule, there were some that mocked the entirety of the situation. Some formulated memes while others badly executed advertising materials to ride with the sensationalized news. To bring about attention and awareness regarding these topics is vital in having these issues addressed and spotlighted. However, featuring these cases for a company’s marketing stint comes off as being disrespectful since these topics should be handled carefully and sensitively.

Different for each one, there are concerns and topics that we are sensitive to, and to see that these aren’t treated with enough sensitivity and respect by others does not put us in a good situation. Injecting humor to make the situation lighter is something that is like a trademark for the Filipino people, but this should be moderated and be done with caution. Contrary to popular opinion, not everything is a joke, or should be joked about.

We should sit these bullies down, but we should not do this by being bullies ourselves.

There seems to be an unending cycle when it comes to bullying, one that is not often realized until damage had already been done. To teach our peers and those less aware of such situations, we should utilize a different method, one that is more objective and understanding. Let us not be hypocrites in trying to set examples to those needing guidance and enlightenment.

The justification that the bully needs his own ass-kicking and punishing because of his or her actions should be trashed; this cycle of hurting must not be cultivated. Very much like all processes, unless disrupted, bullying will go on and on. We should not be fueling the fire, nor should we tend it; we must instead put it out.

As people not directly concerned with these incidents, we must see to it that we do not become the people that we abhor. We should be mindful of our own actions, that we may attend to our own scars first so as not to inflict harm on others. Further, we should be on the lookout; we report what needs to be reported, we stand up for those who cannot stand up for themselves, we be watchful of our surroundings to ensure that there be no more victims of bullying.

I live with my own testimony that scars of bullying never really fade easily; they aren’t the type to just be visible. The scars that result from these experiences are the type to hurt despite the long period that it could have healed.

Bullying comes in different a form, shape, and degree of violence. The act and the process of becoming one involves conscious effort. To be the exact opposite entails the same.