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"We can stop bullying, one step at a time"
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"We can stop bullying, one step at a time"

Harnoor Gill picBullying is an old problem that can be spread by new technology, writes Harnoor Gill, 16, a Commonwealth Correspondent from Georgetown in Canada, who advocates education and early intervention to prevent bullying.

The concept of bullying can be traced as far back as 1710 when it was first introduced as a “blusterer” or “harasser of the weak”.[i] Bullying has revolutionized according to the way the world has been changed.

In today’s modern world with high tech gadgets, the Internet allows more ways to interact and socialize, but it has its ups and downs. It’s great to be able to interact with others right from the palm of your hand, sitting on the couch and multitasking with our electronic devices. But the same technology also makes even easier for people to say rude things, post rude comments, or easily hurt you emotionally without even knowing you – and it’s all done with ease.

National Bullying Prevention Month, held annually in October, is designed for people to raise awareness about this issue that can in one way or another affect everyone of any size, age or shape. It’s important for people to know what National Bullying Prevention Month really is, how they can participate in it and how newcomers to Western Countries are sometimes affected by bullying.

National Bullying Prevention Month is raising awareness about how bullying is a growing problem for today’s generation, thanks in part to the increased amount of freedom that everyone has through the Internet nowadays. Everyone can recognise that they may have been a part of bullying one way or the other by participating in it as a bystander, as a bully or sometimes unfortunately as the bullied person. I myself have been a part of these things and have in fact experienced all three because of how bullying affected me. I regret being a bystander and a bully because I could have stopped, or I could have made a difference in the way some things turned out for me. I also wish I could go into the past to stand up for myself during the time I was bullied.

Participating in a bullying prevention campaign is easy – you can do so by raising concerns about the different types of bullying and how they can be stopped. There are three standard types of bullying out there that hurt millions of people each day. They are physical bullying, verbal bullying and last but not least cyber bullying. The most common type found in people of all ages is verbal bullying, because it’s the easiest form out of all. Unfortunately it can also hurt the person the most. Verbal bullying consists of sarcasm, name-calling, teasing, spreading rumours and threatening. Physical bullying consists of hitting, poking, pinching, chasing, shoving, and unwanted sexual touching. Cyber bullying consists of text messaging or using the Internet to put-down, intimidate, spread rumours or make fun of someone. Nowadays, there is even a related type of bullying that has reached into public awareness, and that is the act of social bullying. Social bullying occurs when the perpetrator humiliates others with public gestures, graffiti or mobbing.

Newcomers to Canada or the United States are sometimes made fun of for the way that they talk, act, walk or think. This is an act of judgement. Those making fun of someone by making them feel bad about who they are – in effect, bullying – should be dealt with right away. If such a concern is never going to be addressed, it could lead to the victimized person’s suffering with an emotional breakdown or suicidal thoughts.

Remember, we are all unique and no one is like us. Be happy; be courageous. Do this by never letting anybody pull you down because of your identity, race, religion, background, colour, and ethnicity. Let’s face it, God created each and every single person for a reason, and that is why each and every one of us is special – because we have something to accomplish in this great world of ours.

[i] “Bully”, Online Etymology Dictionary,  http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=bully.

photo credit: MDGovpics via photopin cc

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About me: I am a student in Georgetown, Canada, and founder of the Peace Welcome Club. I love to volunteer, read, write, and play basketball. I volunteer with local environmental and youth organizations and am dedicated to raising awareness about youth volunteering. My writing has been published in Indo-Canadian Voice, Asian Journal, Times of India, The Independent & Free Press, and in Amazing Kids! Magazine.

https://www.facebook.com/PeaceWelcomeClub

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Opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of the Commonwealth Youth Programme. Articles are published in a spirit of dialogue, respect and understanding. If you disagree, why not submit a response.
To learn more about becoming a Commonwealth Correspondent please visit: http://www.yourcommonwealth.org/submit-articles/commonwealthcorrespondents/

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