Love Not Hate

Do you remember how hard life was as a young teenager?  You were no longer a child, not quite an adult, stuck in limbo, waiting to grow those beautiful wings and well, make a break for freedom from your parents house.  I remember school - my friends, uncontrollable laughter, comradery, the anxiety of exams, sport days, school balls, the sheer will of watching the clock at the front of the science lab.  And I remember the tears.  No-one makes it through school without tears.  Myself, I moved between groups all the time, it was easy for me, I didn't stick with just one clique.  Lord knows why but no-one ever judged me for that.  I just did it and I still do it.

The sad thing is that, there were kids who seemed to be constantly 'picked-on' but in my days, bullying was not a word we used.  It was either 'teasing' or 'making fun' of someone.  In hindsight, teachers and parents dressed it up, sanitised it so much that in the end it sounded like an unfortunate sneeze on the eve of a debutantes ball.  To name it correctly - is to acknowledge it's existence.  Bullying was an ugly form of behaviour and god forbid that it actually existed.  But exist, it did, I remember one girls tears after being teased about her family; I remember another being taunted about being a redhead, freckle-faced and yes, she was fat, that didn't go unnoticed. And I remember someone actually peeing their pants at school, only to be further ridiculed.  Children can be naive, yes they can be cruel with their honesty - but it's when they unwittingly unleash a pack mentality, that they are at their most lethal.  Goodness knows, we all like to 'fit'; no-one likes to stand out or be picked on.  Well, most of us, right?

As I watched Jonah Mowry's video, tears streamed down my face, it was one of the most gut-heart-soul-wrenching recordings I've viewed in recent times. Yes, I'm an emotional girl sometimes but his simple message is so poignant.  'He has a million reasons to be here' - just like everyone else on this planet.  'Love not Hate' is the message.  When I see this video, I wonder how many kids from my school went home and felt exactly as Jonah did here.  And I hear you - what can anyone do about these kids who bully?  Well, here's the other thing, its a learned behaviour, kids aren't born that way - they assimilate, they take on values of those around them.  If you hate, they hate; if you love, they love.  It's simple really, yes?   And now I'll step down off my soap box.  I just had to get that off my chest.

Jonah Mowry's video via youtube


  1. Just having this same conversation with some friends over the weekend. So much of what children do is learned behavior. As parents, it's our responsibility to make sure that harmful behavior doesn't go unchecked and to model the kind of behavior we want to see in the future generations!

  2. Is what I'm hearing on Twitter now true--that he made this all up?!

    I'm trying to get around feeling angry and am trying to say bullying is a chronic problem, regardless of whether or not this story is true. But right now, I'm just feeling skeptical.

  3. Johanna, absolutely agree. Everyone has a responsibility to whats acceptable around them, we often ignore anything vaguely difficult to deal with because its easier.

    TL Conway, I don't think for one second that this is not a genuine video, I've not seen anything to prove it and I think that's another issue, it's a powerful message and people are so quick to tear it down by calling him a fake. Can a teenager turn around and be happy in 4 months? I don't know but his life certainly has changed in 4 months since the video. At the end of the day, bullying is an issue that needs to be dealt with.

  4. This video is absolutely heartbreaking. If that's not a call to action, to do everything we can to stop bullying, I don't know what is.

  5. Great post. As a teenager on the verge of adult, I found this post to be so interesting.

  6. Spread the peace people , spread the peace

  7. Meredith, agreed! Everyone has a part to play.

    Romance Reader, glad you found it interesting. Thanks!

    Reina, indeed!

    Carol, you're welcome. Thanks for stopping by my dear. :)

  8. Just popping in to retract my earlier comment. I've been reading so many articles and interviews (holy DEPRESSING) and you're right--nothing proven. I likely jumped the gun on reading an ill-informed nugget, nothing more.

    Point still remains that this boy is one of THOUSANDS of kids who are bullied and hated upon every day. It's so incredibly horrifying.

    I know feel compelled to even out the sadness in my head/heart by watching Disney movies or listening to holiday music. Need some cheer...

  9. Sigh. I "now" feel, not "know" feel.

    Thanks for spreading the word, Talei.

  10. I hate bullies and always have. I always felt on the outside at school and I was teased although I don't think it went as far as what this kiddo and others have to put up with. I wish bullying were learned-- I used to think that until my beat friend's son called my kids a derogatory racial term because their father is African-American. My friends (his parents) were horrified and upset. I can say with confidence that he never heard that kind of talk at home and that was not how they raised him. (and it wasn't the only time my kids had such experiences- my middle daughter would often have other girls look down on her because she wasn't blonde and her hair was not straight- again, I don't believe the parents taught it) But kids spot weaknesses and differences and they are little humans without much control. They have to be taught to have control of their words and they have to be taught to be empathetic. There's so much work to being a parent. I tried very hard to teach my kids to be empathetic and to treat others they way they want to be treated and I hope I was successful. It seems like sometimes they still forget those lessons though even though my daughters are grown.


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