When I was in my early teens, I was constantly bullied at school. It used to bother me at first. Those words hit a spot at first. And then that spot hardened.
And I just didn’t care anymore. The insults kept coming as I grew older. And I didn’t care even more. They eventually stopped when those “friends” decided they had better things to do. But I was lucky because some people never decide they have better things to do.
That’s what’s happening to someone I really care about now in his last year of school. The words keep coming and those classmates, with their better than thou attitude, keep going unpunished. And it has been going on for a few years now.
How long should we tolerate until our schools step their foot down in the face of bullying? Why is it that the person I care about has to consider changing schools to escape the toxic environment spread by two assholes while the easiest thing would be to expel those two bastards?
Why is it that the victim of bullying in Lebanon has to be turned into submission even by the school? Why is it that our schools, with their “we are such a good environment for you kid” attitude, don’t actually care about being a good environment for the kid and turn a blind eye to what’s happening in the heart of classrooms with their beyond docile measures if faced by the kid’s parents?
The thing people tell a bullying victim is that it gets better. You tell them that those kids will always be kids. You tell them they’ll soon change. You’ll tell them that they will find people who will see them for what they are: awesome people. And they won’t believe you. And they’ll think you’re just lying to make things better.
But it really does.
My uncle was a victim of bullying. He’s now a top shot doctor in the United States, making more money than his entire class combined.
I was a victim of bullying and I now write one of the most read blogs in Lebanon in between my studies at medical school. I can’t say the same for most of those “friends.”
My late uncle was bullied because an accident when he was younger led to him losing an eye. And despite him being a brilliant student at school – they even got him to skip one class – he had to drop out because he couldn’t take it anymore. And still he managed to do well with the little time he had by making a family and starting a business that is booming today.
I have a friend who faced the same bullying because of a medical condition during middle school. And things didn’t let down until he found a bunch of friends mature enough to understand what he was going through. He’s now a top notch architect.
And the person I care about? He’ll soon go to a university that those assholes would never dream of entering and he’ll become a success in the field that he chooses.
And we’ll all go back to our school reunions and tell those suckers: Fuck you. With emphasis on every single letter. Because, well, fuck them and their demented brainless heads.
And fuck those schools that never empower the victim for fear of losing the tuition of other students. Because that’s how you build a country: by letting the weak ones be weak forever and letting the “strong” ones feel strong. Always.
Congratulations Lebanese education, you teach people three languages and a shitload of math they won’t need. But you don’t teach them compassion or tolerance or anything that they would benefit from later on. I salute you and your teachers.
Sticks and stones can break my bones but names never hurt? Yes, it’s always easy to preach. But my advice to those being bullied is the following: don’t always turn a blind eye and deaf ear as you hurt inside.