If you don’t recognize this scene, it’s from the movie “A Christmas Story” that my family watches every single Christmas day. The kid in the coonskin cap is Scott Farkus, the neighborhood bully, and his little toady sidekick. These two terrorize Ralphie and his friends through most of the movie, until Ralphie finally gets fed up and takes things into his own hands. It’s a great scene.
Why am I bringing up a Christmas movie in the middle of a heat wave? If you haven’t heard about it by now, there’s a viral video that is being shown all over the national news programs (not that I watch the mainstream media, but I heard about it on The Ace & TJ Show and then Glenn Beck discussed it). This video shows a bunch of middle school kids on a school bus in Greece, NY bullying the 68 year old bus monitor, eventually bringing her to tears. Yes, you read that correctly…. MIDDLE SCHOOL KIDS WERE BULLYING AN ELDERLY WOMAN! What happened to helping old ladies across the street? Have the Progressives been so good at killing our empathy for others that now it’s okay to instead push the old lady into the path of a speeding bus so that she doesn’t suck the money out of the health care system??
If you’ve watched this video you’ve heard the horrible language that these kids were using. They called her a fat b*&%$, told her that she was going to die of diabetes because she was so fat, and even went to far as to tell her that if they were her kids they would commit suicide just to get away from her (her son had actually committed suicide ten years ago, and this was the comment that caused her to break down into tears). At least, that’s what you hear in between all of the bleeping that had to be put in there to cover up the curse words that these kids were saying. Another sad thing? A good portion of the kids doing the bullying were girls. What has happened to our society?? Nobody stood up and told these kids to stop. I don’t blame the bus driver because often when things are going on in the very back of the bus, unless it’s something obviously bad, then you don’t worry about it. Especially when you think that the monitor is taking care of any situations that might develop.
Another sad part of this story is that none of the parents of these kids are holding their kids accountable for their actions. The school’s ‘Bullying Team’ is investigating the incident and will determine any kind of punishment later. Umm… I think that your bullying team is worthless if this is happening. Maybe the money from the budget that is being spent on this ‘team’ would be better spent somewhere else. If one of these kids had been mine, I would have been so irate over the fact that they treated this woman like this that I’m afraid my child wouldn’t be able to sit down for a month. Then I would have marched him/her over to this woman’s house to apologize to her. After that my child would be spending the rest of the summer mowing the woman’s lawn, pulling her weeds, and any other labor intensive jobs that she might need to have done around her place. Once the words are out there you can’t take them back, but my child will do their best to make this woman’s life a little easier. There wouldn’t be any special trips this summer, either. Kids aren’t held to the consequences of misbehaving. Look at the Occupy Wall Street people… it’s the perfect example of everything that’s wrong with our society. Socialism is NOT a good thing. This is the perfect evidence of that.
Actually, this is one of my biggest worries about if I’m ever a parent. Am I going to be able to teach my children empathy and watching out for others as well as I was taught? My parents did a very good job of teaching me right and wrong. It also helped that I grew up with Chrissy, who was mentally retarded, and fostered the instinct in both me and Kimberly to stick up for those who can’t stand up for themselves. Without having Chrissy here as a living example, how can I do an adequate job of teaching my children this lesson?
Yes, I have stood up for others. I have always been really shy and reserved around strangers, or when I was in school anybody who was older than me. I didn’t say a word because I didn’t want to put myself out there. Yet, when I was in first grade I stood up to these two girls on my school bus. There was this boy, Keith, who was a few years older than me, but he was handicapped. He had a stutter, he was developmentally slow, and he spit when he talked. I was one of the few people on the bus who would sit with him and talk with him during the bus ride. One night on our ride home I wasn’t sitting with Keith, but I heard him talking to the girls a few seats back. I didn’t pay any attention until I heard his voice start to get louder. He was telling them to stop because that wasn’t nice. They were picking on him because of his stutter and his spitting. I turned around and told them to stop because he couldn’t help it. They just laughed and picked on me for being his girlfriend. I told Keith that he could come up and sit with me. He was grateful and a few years ago when I ran into him at the mall he told the guy he was with all about how I had been his hero. Did it stop those girls from picking on him? A little. They turned their attention to me and I just ignored them because I knew that they were just ignorant. But it made a HUGE difference to Keith.
When I was in Jr. High there was another incident where I had to stand up for somebody else. It was the end of gym class, and after changing out of our gym clothes, my best friend and I were sitting on the bench waiting for the bell to ring and release us. As we talked we noticed that the rest of the girls were huddled in a circle, surrounding something against the wall of the shower room. We continued to talk, but I was looking to see what was going on. That’s when I realized that most of the girls in my gym class had decided that they didn’t like this new girl. So they were standing there, calling her names, and kicking her. She was backed up against the wall and couldn’t get away from them. I waded into the group and told them to stop kicking her and to leave her alone. The only thing that did was get me kicked. I went into the gym teacher’s office and told her what was going on. She was mad! She came out, broke it up, and gave that group of girls a terrible dressing-down. I’m not sure what else happened to them after that, but I do know that the girl whom I tried to help was very appreciative. She ended up moving to a different school district later that year, but I heard from a friend whose cousin attended that school that this girl always talked about how wonderful Pauline and I were. Again, my action didn’t stop the other girls from continuing to kick this poor girl (only the gym teacher accomplished that), but it made a difference to the girl.
Is it scary to stand up against a crowd? Yes, it is. When all is said and done, though, will you be able to live with yourself knowing that you were right there and did nothing? Even though you weren’t the one kicking the girl, you didn’t try to stop it so you might as well have been kicking her, too. Growing up I constantly heard my mom talking about the Golden Rule; do unto others as you would have them do unto you. That’s how I’ve always tried to live my life. Even now I will sometimes stop and think about my actions and ask how I would feel if somebody treated me like that. It’s why I usually try to give people the benefit of the doubt. And though it might make me a bit naive, I would like to think that people are generally good. When I hear stories, like the bus monitor in Greece, NY, then I wonder if I’m the only one living like this. Am I part of a dying breed? I sure hope not.
As a society we need to get back to being the good people that we used to be. We need to have faith and know that there are going to be consequences for our actions. If you believe in Karma, then this applies to you as well. What you put out comes back in threes. If you put evil out there then watch out! However, if you do your best to send out love then you are really going to be blessed.
On a rainy night I was in a hurry to get to the grocery store so that I could then go home. It had been a long day and I just wanted to relax. I was in a long line of cars and we all passed this older man, on crutches, walking along the side of the road. After I passed him I couldn’t stop thinking about him. He was approaching a busy intersection and I didn’t know how he was going to get across there, in the rain, on crutches. Now, my general rule is that I don’t stop for anybody when I’m by myself. It’s the only way to guarantee my safety. However, in the back of my mind I couldn’t help but think that if that was Jesus, what would I do? I turned around and went back to where he was walking. I pulled up, rolled down my window and asked if I could give him a ride to wherever he was going. He smiled, thanked me, but said no. He claimed that his house was just right after the intersection and he traveled this way all of the time. I told him that I would like to give him a ride because of the rain, and again he thanked me but turned me down. I had to pull away because I obviously wasn’t going to force him into my car. “Get into my car and let me do a charitable thing for you!!” as I toss his crutches into the backseat and push him in. lol
Maybe I’m dumb and a bit silly, but I would rather live with the world being more like Mayberry than how it is now. I know that as a country we weren’t ever perfect, and that there will always be terrible things, but that doesn’t mean that we have to contribute to them. If you do your best and always try to do the right thing, that’s all you can do. If you claim that you couldn’t do something because of peer pressure or whatever, all I have to ask is, “Will your peers be standing next to you when it’s your turn to face God?” Only you can answer for your actions. Please try to teach this to others. There are the commercials on TV for an insurance company where one person notices somebody else doing something good, and in the next scene they are doing something good… it’s the Pay it Forward theory. We must be an example to others. If we are all doing the right thing then we don’t have to worry about peer pressure.
Sorry for the lecture. I will step down from my soapbox now.