As a parent, I’ve seen many trends come and go. From the fashion of our youth to the latest apps on your phones, what’s considered “cool” keeps changing. But today, I’d like to talk about one thing that should never be seen as “cool”: bullying.
It’s easy to get caught up in the world of peer pressure. We all want to fit in, to be liked, and sometimes that means going along with the crowd. But there are moments when the crowd isn’t headed in the right direction, and bullying is one such path.
Why Bullying Isn’t Cool: Stories from Real Life
We’ve all heard that age-old saying, “Treat others as you want to be treated.” Yet, sometimes, amidst the pressure to fit in and the chaos of growing up, we might forget why this is so crucial.
Let’s explore the real reasons why bullying isn’t cool, supported by stories that might just change the way you look at things.
1. It Hurts Others
Story of Mia and Alex
One sunny day, as students gathered in the school courtyard, Mia overheard Alex and a few of their friends laughing about her thrift-store clothes. “Look at Mia,” Alex giggled, “Dressing up from a garage sale again.”
Mia’s cheeks flushed. She wanted to shout, explain that her family was going through tough times, but words failed her. Instead, she hurried away, her day clouded by those few cruel words.
“Hindi ko alam na ganun pala nararamdaman ni Mia,” Alex would later confess after learning about Mia’s situation. (I didn’t realize that’s how Mia felt.)
This story shows that our words carry weight. What may seem like an innocent joke can deeply wound another person.
2. It Doesn’t Make You Look Strong
Story of Paolo and Marco
Paolo was the school’s top basketball player. Everyone admired his skills. But off the court, he had a nasty habit. He’d often make fun of Marco, a younger student with a stutter.
One day in the school library, Paolo mimicked Marco’s stutter in front of a group. But instead of laughing, Ana, a senior, stepped in. “You know, Paolo,” she said, “Real strength isn’t in mocking someone’s weakness. It’s in helping them overcome it.”
Everyone nodded, and for the first time, Paolo looked smaller, not stronger.
3. It Can Come Back to Haunt You
Story of Liza and the Lost Friendship
Liza and Joy were once inseparable friends. But in high school, Liza started hanging out with a “cooler” crowd. One day, to impress her new friends, Liza shared an embarrassing secret about Joy. The whole school knew by lunchtime.
Years later, at a reunion, Liza approached Joy, hoping to reconnect. But Joy simply said, “Alam mo, yung ginawa mo noon, hindi ko makakalimutan.” (You know, what you did back then, I can’t forget.)
Liza learned the hard way that betraying a friend for a moment of popularity can lead to a lifetime of regret.
4. It Limits Your Growth
Story of Carlos and the Unseen Potential
Carlos was smart, and always top of his class. Instead of helping others, he’d often mock them for not catching up. He loved calling out mistakes, especially of Jake, who struggled with Math.
One day, Mrs. Reyes, their teacher, pulled Carlos aside. “Did you know Jake is an excellent writer? Maybe you could learn from him,” she suggested. Carlos was taken aback. He’d never seen that side of Jake because he never tried to.
Realizing his mistake, Carlos approached Jake. They started tutoring each other, and both improved immensely. Carlos learned that by belittling others, he’d been missing out on so much.
Every person has their own story, struggles, and dreams. Before we act or speak, it’s essential to remember these four reasons and their accompanying tales. Bullying isn’t just uncool; it’s a lost opportunity to understand, help, and grow with those around us. Choose kindness, for it’s the true measure of strength and character.
Choosing the Right Path
Bullying might seem like a quick way to gain respect or laughter from peers, but it’s a hollow victory. True respect comes from being someone who lifts others up, not pushes them down.
Remember, everyone is fighting their own battles, many of which we can’t see. Instead of being another obstacle in their path, be a helping hand. Be the person who stands up for others, who listens, who cares. That’s the kind of “cool” that never goes out of style.
So, the next time you’re faced with a choice to laugh at someone or stand by them, think about what’s genuinely cool. Choose kindness, understanding, and respect. In the long run, these are the choices that make you stand out in the best possible way.