Bully: A person or a group who uses strength to harm or intimidate those who are weaker -New Oxford Dictionary
Bullying is on my mind today. I am thinking of our grandchildren who deal with school bullying, but also older women who face all types of bullying or are bullies. There is one particular lesson for grandmothers to their grandchildren on the topic of bullying that ties in well with the holidays, but also we must tackle the topic of grandchildren and older women who lack the courage to silence the bullies and the importance of speaking up.
Darlings, the goal of my musings today, at the end of 2017, are to make you think about your actions in the bullying arena. This topic of bullying came to mind in part because of the national news.
Bullying seems to be everywhere: The national news
I am a news junky. I could probably win “Jeopardy” because I follow the news so closely. At the end of 2017 I am left with a bad taste in my mouth. I am appalled and ashamed of what others across the world must think about the bullying behavior and actions of some of our so called important citizens. Hateful words and scenes flash across my television set as I watch and listen in dismay. This isn’t an issue on just a single side of the political aisle. This seems to be an epidemic. Is this what our society has come to?
Three stories on bullying
A GIRLFRIEND STORY: During 2017, I watched an adult group of board members bully an older woman, a girlfriend of mine, because she fought for the rights of another person. A disciplinary action was initiated by the board against my girlfriend. She was not allowed at our club for a certain number of weeks. She was humiliated. The bullying carried through the membership and those who did not know her prejudged her because of other’s opinions. She is beloved, admired and respected in my beautiful Chicago. In her second home in ‘sunny’ California she is not one of the so called “in” women so she was used as an example to “teach” other club members “proper decorum.” What would you have done? Would you have spoken up? Would you have followed the pack and spoke out against someone you barely knew?
A LESSON FOR YOUNG GRANDCHILD: As grandmothers we have the opportunity and responsibility to reach out to our young grandchildren with a lesson on bullying and I think I found the perfect teaching vehicle…”Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer.” This story could be applicable to the situations of all our young grandchildren. After all, some are bullied, some have bullied others, and some just stand by and watch the act of bullying.
Here are sentences in the song that relate to all the facets of bullying. Use them as your teaching guide:
“All of the other reindeers used to laugh and call him names. They never let poor Rudolph join in any reindeer games.”
“Rudolph with your nose so bright won’t you guide my sleigh tonight.”
“Then all the other reindeer loved him as they shouted out with glee, “Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer, you’ll go down in history.”
The lesson comes with this question: Grandchildren, he was the same Rudolph. What changed?
MY STORY: I was at a private all-girls party. I was told one of the women did not want me in the photo. One of my close girlfriends came out from behind the curtain to deliver this news. I named who I thought the woman who made the request was and my girlfriend said yes. I was shocked that she would show such poor character in front of other women. I responded to my girlfriend, “I would never behave like that.” When I said those words, I felt like a fierce woman over 50. I am a woman with empathy, a woman who would never let another woman rain on my parade. I stayed at the party and had a wonderful time because I considered the source. I question: Should the other women have come to my defense? Would you have the courage to step up and stop a bullying situation?
Bullying is an epidemic. It makes me sad to see others hurt. In 2018 I made a promise to myself that I will come to the defense of any child, young adult, or older woman I know who is being bullied. I am smiling. As for me, I can handle myself just fine. I say this with not only a smile but with a big wink.
To you and your families, I wish you the happiest, merriest holiday. I hope my musings resonate with you and you tweak something in your lifestyle over 50 concerning bullying.