Suicide Prevention Week: Bullying in the Extreme…

I originally wrote this article in June, but held off on posting it – a little trepidation in sharing a poem I wrote would be the main reason, but since its Suicide Prevention Week its relevant…

I read an article today updating the story of Mallory Grossman, the little girl who took her own life a year ago after being subjected to constant bullying.  She was 12 years old.  Twelve.

Too many children have fallen prey to this epidemic. Too many children do not fully grasp the value of life, the importance of their existence on this planet. We are failing them with our discourse and divisiveness. We are failing them by taking away God, by turning their worlds into nothing more than a virtual reality where there are no real consequences or true emotions; where innocence is frowned upon instead of held sacred.  It needs to stop.

In my opinion, social media has corrupted everyone to an extent.  It has aided in the disconnect of civilization from the basic niceties of life. It is harming our youth and depriving them of a normal childhood. It has caused parents not to be present with their children, and children not to be present in life period. It has also exaggerated bullying to a level that is unrecognizable, by giving a place for the weak minded to torment those around them while hiding behind a screen for protection.

I don’t know how, but something needs to be done to get back to common courtesy and human kindness. Of course kids will have moments of poor judgement, and inappropriate comments or teasing, but teach them empathy and how to notice when someone has fallen into the depths of despair, especially as a result of THEIR very behavior toward them.

I wrote this right after reading the article.  All the things I would have liked to have said to that little girl, in that moment when she felt she couldn’t go on…

Put down your weapon little one; pick up your head instead.
Push forward through the moment; push back your shoulders.
They know not what they do; you know how weak THEY are.
They guess at who you are; YOU know what you are worth.

Turn away from those who wish you harm; fall into those who wait with open arms.
This moment is but a small speck on a vast canvas; a beautiful masterpiece awaits you.
They lack integrity; you build character and strength from their shortcomings.
Inner dialogue is constant; respond, and demand that dialogue to be up-lifting.

Loneliness does not last forever; but death, dear child, is permanent.
Words sting, belittle, and cut; but YOU create the vocabulary for which you are defined.
Fear and sadness are exhausting; I assure you, a second wind always follows.
Fighting the darkness is hard; but victory is born out of strife.

Don’t leave us in this way; for you have not seen the beauty in the horizon as of yet.
Turn away from the perpetrators; rise above their insecurities and model yourself in His likeness.
Yesterday is gone; hold on to see the sun rise again and bask within its glow with those who love you most…