Monday, 5 December 2011
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