Tuesday, February 28, 2012
I was writing about this Beat Bullying You Tube video from the UK and then I heard about the shooting in Ohio. Can we fathom the pain that some kids are going through?
It's a terrible question, but for every child who gets pushed far enough to take out a gun, how many others are taking it out on themselves, either by alcohol and drug abuse, cutting, or just good 'ole self loathing and sometimes suicide?
I talked to a group of 10 and 11 year olds yesterday. It was a really positive experience except for one small disturbing thing. At the end of the workshop, the kids are asked to think of an adult they would go to if they had an issue with bullying. Nearly all of the girls had someone in mind right away. Some even had several in mind. But there was one girl who calmly but directly, said she wouldn't talk to anyone. Absolutely not. I asked her why not and she said she "doesn't trust anyone." And just the way she said it, I knew she wasn't trying to be dramatic. She believed it. I didn't know what to say.
That's my fear. That for a variety of reasons, kids emotionally go through life alone. The world gets distorted when you do everything on your own.
Bullying is epidemic but so is "aloneness." It's not just "lonely." It's feeling like you're an island and you have to go through life trying to figure it out all by yourself.
Even as adults, we shouldn't be trying to figure it out all by ourselves. How do we help children connect? It's the disconnect that causes so many problems.
I'm horrified for the poor families who lost their children because another child suffering from "aloneness" pulled out a gun. We'll find out more as the story unfortunately unfolds, but they are all children.