Originally posted 2018-03-15 13:39:20.
Do you remember when you were growing up, going to school, playing with your neighborhood friends? Do you remember that kid that no one liked to be seen talking to? The kid that the seemingly more popular kids picked on? The kid that always seemed to be casted out of everything or everybody in school? You never saw them at school events outside the normal school day. They were always sitting by themselves or with the other kids that may have been casted out as well.
They do get tired of being picked on or bullied. Is it just to make the person seem cooler? Why are kids so mean? Why are kids picking on each other over material things or things out of their control? Why do they feel the need to pick on someone else? If picked on for the fun of it is the trend nowadays do you think at some point those kids get well… fed the fuck up?
A person can only take so much before reacting and sometimes that reaction is far worse than one would think. Then when they do have that reaction folks seem to get their panties in a wad because of the way they reacted.
This may not be a fair comparison but take domestic violence. The person abused over and over again gets fed up at some point. There are plenty of times I wanted to kill my abuser. And I stress plenty. I mean I have mentioned before the time I put some of my sons medication in a beer so he would drink it and maybe give me a chance to escape. Of course it didn’t work because his dumb ass noticed the pills that didn’t dissolve. Then I got my ass beat, nose busted, eardrum ruptured, bruised, battered and still afraid. But I was reaching a critical point where my desperation could have tragic results. But everyone can only take so much before they either blow up.
How many women are in prison for killing or attempting to kill their abusers?
Do you think any of the crimes today are a result of bullying, being picked on, casted out?
We can all say kids will be kids but at some point a kid is just mimicking the actions of an authority figure in their lives or someone who they may have looked up to. Think about all the so-called idols of children. You have pro athletes to singers, rappers, military service member or just the average Joe. But they look up to them for whatever reason. Good or bad. Even though my bio father was an asshole my brother looked up to him. He wanted to be like this dad. Not in every way like him but in some ways.
Today’s bullying is yesterdays peer-pressure. Even I have felt the strong-arm of peer pressure. We used to see kids picked on the brand of clothing or shoes. I kind of relate it to people who may not have that Maserati and folks in their industry think they aren’t worth their time. Or some celebrities that will have all this attention if folks think they have something or could gain from them in some way. Yet, they won’t give the singer who has nothing the time of day.
Status? I mean what is it? My bio father had money ( not Bill Gates or Amazon creator money ) but he didn’t look the part. Hell, before he vfibb’d he had a 90’s model Ford Taurus. Nothing shiny, no bling, just from point A to point B.
Bullying is the leading form of child abuse in the nation. “Wonder” shows us the predatory and entitled mindset that motivates many adolescent bullies – the same mindset and soul sickness that fuels adult sexual harassers.
August, like millions of real-life targets of bullying today, cannot escape bullying on his own, since he is socially and physically underpowered. He needs what a 10-year, landmark study by the Department of Health and Human Services revealed is necessary: positive peer pressure.
That means that August needs classmates with good hearts, strong values and a courageous form of kindness to stand up for him. They eventually do, which liberates August and makes his liberators stronger as well.
As August says toward the conclusion of the novel: “And now that they’d protected me, I was different to them. It was like I was one of them. They all called me ‘little dude’ now – even the jocks.”
Yet unlike many targets who are marginalized by their peers (and some teachers), “Auggie” is exceptionally fortunate. He’s enveloped by supreme love, wisdom, empathy and humor. These are blessings that are denied for many real-life targets.
Up to 70 percent of the victims of bullying never tell anyone, suffering in brutal silence. People like Michael Goodman, who has the same deformity and whose story went viral, after sharing how he attempted suicide twice as a senior in high school. Even now, as an adult pediatrician, Dr. Goodman has had parents refuse to let him treat their children due to his deformity.
Julian, Auggie’s cruel antagonist, like many real-life serial bullies is beset by cupiditas, or “sin of the wolf.” This is where others are only valuable in as much as they can be consumed, exploited and bartered.
With sexual harassers, cupiditas is achieved through power, domination and objectification, which feed the harasser’s ego and hubris. This sin, for which Dante reserved the lowest level of hell in “Inferno,” reveals itself in a similar way through adolescent bullying.
Julian tries and succeeds in turning Auggie into a punch line and a running joke in order to gain popularity. Interestingly, a UCLA study asked middle schoolers in more than 1,000 schools to list both the bullies and most popular students. The lists were nearly identical.
Bullying, like sexual harassment, pays – until targets and bystanders find their voice and courage to push back. We’re well past-time to start naming names of bullies as well (#iwasbullied).
Julian gives us an unvarnished view into the dark mind of a serial bully. He’s mean, accusatory and defamatory, and we eventually learn where he gets his predatory entitlement: his arrogant, disdainful and entitled mother. She is similar to another cinematic character, Simon (Jason Bateman) in “The Gift,” another movie that doesn’t traffic in the many self-soothing myths about bullying, such as that bullies come from abusive homes. That myth is perpetuated in the film “Sing Street.”
Many tears, like mine, have been shed while reading and watching “Wonder,” a gift to our sincere but still disjointed anti-bullying movement in America. But tears without action are wasted sentiment. They are more about our own pain from witnessing torment and injustice than about the wellbeing of the tens of millions of targets of serial bullying each year.
Let’s employ this movie to inspire our children to be more like Jack, Summer and other heroes who save Auggie.
Let’s inspire more real-life, protective fifth-graders like Jemalle Williams, who recently saw his autistic classmate bullied for chewing on pencils in class. Jemalle chewed on his own pencil in solidarity, and within days nearly his entire class joined him.
With his mother’s help, Jemalle wrote a book about his experience called, “Different Yet Alike.” Proceeds will fund bullying prevention in his school.
Let’s redeem our tears in 2018 by creating our own wonder born from courageous expressions of kindness.