The shooter was 13. He took his own life. Authorities say he might have been bullied. Imagine that.
We have raised a generation of wusses. Everything kids, tweens, and teens hear is go be a star, you can be anything you want to be, follow your dreams. And the moment someone makes fun of you, your world is crushed because you hear negativity; you experience conflict. Kids don’t know how to deal with this because we set them up for failure by pumping them full of positivity.
“But times are different now,” some will say. “Bullying is so much worse!” No it’s not. It’s just more “social.” What has stayed the same is that guys will make fun of each other and not mean it. Girls will compliment each other and not mean it. Teenagers being mean to each other is nothing new. They’ve just become more cowardly in the way they do it by hiding behind a keyboard.
Now, I work with middle schoolers. I get how they work, how they think, and how they react (for the most part). So the next two words are good advice for all of you who have been bullied but haven’t done anything about it yet:
If you fall at recess and scrape your knee, get up and deal with it. If you lose a football game, shake the hands of your opponents and get ready for next week. Bullying has become such a buzz word that I guarantee MOST of these “bullying” incidents are really just an over-reaction of over-promoted children. And I have children. I want them to do well in whatever they pursue in life. And when I even get a hint that they are being left out or talked about, it pains me to no end. But we use this adversity to teach our girls how to respond appropriately and grow from it. Here’s some more good advice for you:
It’s time to grow up.
I got picked on. I got made fun of. And *gasp* I lost a lot of basketball games. But I learned how to deal with it. Sure I cried and threw tantrums for a while, but I didn’t go shoot up my school. But Sean, aren’t you being insensitive? Yes. Because being TOO sensitive is the reason we find ourselves talking about school shootings in the first place. Kids are too sensitive. They’ve been conditioned that they are great and the world revolves around them and anyone that says otherwise is a heinous bully. So instead of letting adversity develop the healthy character that men and women should have, they either medicate it or arm it.
“Bully” is as over-used as “ADHD.” I worked at a summer camp in college and a majority of the boys I had in my cabins had “ADHD” listed on their medical sheet. Really? They’re 8 year old boys. They like to run, and jump, and climb, and wrestle. One summer I had a kid who every time we got around a campfire would say “I’m a pyro, guys, I’m a pyro;” no you’re not, you’re a 10 year old boy. Part of being a man means we love to blow stuff up and watch it burn (and then blow that stuff up and watch it burn). “Bully” is the same way. “I’m being bullied!” Or maybe you just dropped your lunch tray in the cafeteria and the people that saw it started laughing. You’d do the same thing.
So if you’re being “bullied,” join the club. Quit using it as an excuse to not deal with your emotions in a healthy way. It’s time to put the weapons down and use words. It’s time to grow up. I am fed up with teenagers taking extreme measures to deal with their extreme pain. And that is why I do what I do, say what I do, and preach what I do. And even more poignantly, that is why I pray what I do:
He who testifies to these things says, “Yes, I am coming soon.” Amen. Come, Lord Jesus. Revelation 22:19-21