Humdrum.

My name is Orianah but most people call me Ori. Actually, everyone does and if you don’t, than we probably don’t know each other. I remember wanting my name to be Emily for so many years. I knew an Emily and  I envied her. She had the typical Roseau look; blonde hair and blue eyes. She played basketball and was popular. She even had THE last name. For those from a small town, I’m sure you know what I mean by that.

Instead of being named and being born with what I saw as the ideal life of a 3rd grader; I was named Orianah. I was a pudgy ginger with Harry Potter glasses before Harry Potter glasses were deemed cool. I wore Pamida brand clothes and was teased like a son of a bitch. Some kid in second grade called me a fag once. I was one of those kids that were bullied from 1st grade all the way through 9th. And after that, I didn’t let my ears hear the comments but my eyes still saw the looks.

So what. I was bullied and I dealt with it. I have insecurities but I’ve made peace with the assholes of my past. What goes around comes around is the way I see it and to be quite honest, if something shitty happened or happens to them throughout their lives, I have zero remorse or empathy for them. Call me a bad person if you must.

Someone told me in my adult life that they were just kids. That they didn’t know any better so I shouldn’t hold a grudge. I think I’ve overcome the grudge part. But that doesn’t mean that their hurtful childhood remarks didn’t phase me. It doesn’t mean that I’ll be able to conveniently “forget.”

I rambled a bit too much on that topic. I was thinking last night about biographies and how our biographies always seem to change depending on who we’re around. For example – If I were asked to write a short bio about myself for a company newsletter at work, obviously I wouldn’t write what I wrote above. It would begin something like this:

My name is Orianah, but everyone calls me Ori. I was born and raised in Roseau, MN and moved to Viking during my freshman year of high school I have two brothers, a mom, and a dad.

The classic humdrum that we all already know. So, what’s the opening paragraph to your bio? Does it change depending on who you’re presenting it to? Does it change throughout your lifetime? I know mine does.

Bullies.

If we can’t teach our children to stick up for themselves than we are going to raise a submissive generation of pity induced robots.

My brother posted a Facebook status about a video that went viral locally. It was of a girl crying and her brother telling the camera that his sister had been being bullied.

I saw it on the news. It was sad to see. I had mixed emotions when it was publicly broadcasted on the 6 o’clock and 10 o’clock news because I ran threw both sides of the story in my head.

For one, I think it is horrible that her mom had the damn balls to film her daughter balling her eyes out from being bullied and then publicly posted it. I’ve said it a million times, I’m not a mom but that doesn’t exclude me from having a very just opinion about something because one day I will be a mom and I’ll still have an opinion and still be entitled to it. I felt like I had to clarify for the “but you’re not a mom so you can’t have an opinion” speech.

Anyways, I’m sure that the mothers intentions were to spread awareness that bullyng is real and in our community. We already know this. In my opinion, video taping your daughter clearly upset and Facebooking the world is so far from comforting; it’s ridiculous. That alone isn’t only being a bully yourself but it’s going to encourage people to poke more fun. Kids are going to watch the news with their parents and see the video. Then they will bully the poor kid even more for being a cry baby and a tattle tale. Do you not think it’d be absolutely humiliating to see yourself clearly distraught on television? A round of applause for the “Inconsiderate Mother Of The Year” award everyone.

Bullying does happen. I’ve been the victim of it for many different things over many many years. From 1st grade to 5th. As a pre-teen and a post-driver. And even as a college student and full grown working adult. It’s everywhere. It’s unavoidable in the disgusting, soul grabbing world we live in. It sucks and it hurts but stand up and fight for your damn self.

Kids are assholes but so are the grown ups. If we can’t teach our children to stick up for themselves than we are going to raise a submissive generation of pity induced robots. And I’m not saying that bullies should get away with being bullies. They shouldn’t.

The adults around should address the issue not only in general but when they witness bullying. They should be punished just as if they were late to class or caught smoking in the bathroom. If it is off school grounds, there are still opportunities to educate the bullies. Teach them about karma or even the golden rule. Teach them to be kind.

My brother would tell you to teach them to fight. Throw punches. Show them you’re tough. I get it. Heck, if my kid were being bullied; I’d want to punch the bully square in the face too but I don’t want to raise my kids knowing that violence is okay.

I want them to be physically strong but not to use it as a means to end bullying. I’m sure this is all easier said then done. If I had punched any of my bullies. I really don’t think it would have changed anything. I’d probably have been perceived as the mean kid. Not the bullied kid who took a stand.

Teach your children to stand up for themselves through proving the bully wrong. Teach them to do what they love no matter what anyone says. Teach them to kill with kindness and excel. Fight back with words instead of fists. And don’t fight back with hatred in your voice but with confidence.

If you guide them down the path of being strong and standing up for themselves, they will be fully capable to handle the real world because elementary is just the prologue to life.

So stop sheltering. Stop promoting a passive attitude. Stop treating your children like babies. They are going to be exposed to the world sooner or later, wouldn’t you want them to have as much experience with it as possible?