Can we please pause and take a collective breath?
Recently I've been horrified to read a number of news stories of people who've killed themselves because they've been bullied on Facebook, or Twitter, or Tumblr, or some other random website. You may sit there and think, "Well, they shouldn't have taken it so seriously".
No, it shouldn't have happened. It should never happen. Unfortunately it does.
I know that people will always argue. It's part of who we are. It's part of life and of having an opinion. But, with the internet, you don't know how a person is feeling. You don't know if they're happy, sad, or if they've just lost their lifelong partner. You can't see them so you can't read their emotions. They may have told you that they're happy while, on the inside, they're screaming for help.
I know because I've done that. I, like many millions around the world, have been bullied both in real life, and online. I've been bullied for my accent, for my hair, for my clothes, because of where I'm from, because of my weight. I've been called names, been ridiculed in public, been screamed at on forums. I've been torn apart for the pettiest, most trivial things.
It takes courage to be able to walk away from it all, to tell yourself that you're better than it. Unfortunately, some people don't have that courage and they see the only way out through dying. What a waste of a life. What a waste of potential. That person who killed themselves because someone on Facebook called them fat? They could have cured cancer. They could have saved your pet's life. They could have been the one who established life on Mars. They could have. They could have. They could have.
I've been in the sad situation of having to counsel people who've lost ones through bullying and it's never pleasant. Often the victim has plastered on a face, hiding what they're really feeling. The question which always gets asked is "Why?". Why didn't they say something? Why didn't they get help? Why couldn't I see there was something wrong? Why couldn't I help? Why? Why? Why?
So please, before you hit that "Send" key, think. What are you saying? Would you want to be the target of that? How would you feel if it were you? Take a deep breath and walk away. It's not worth it. It's not worth the pain and the tears and the heartache.
So please, let's have some civility and thoughtfulness for others. If you're a victim, please seek help. There's plenty of people who will help you find a way out, and never forget that someone, somewhere, loves you. If you see if happening, whether in real life or online, please step in and stop it. You never know, you might save a life.
All our love,