The 3rd of May is World Press Freedom Day. You might think this is a weird day to have and is not very important – but it is. Hugely so. It is critical that newspapers and electronic media are allowed to freely report what is going on in the country or the world, for that matter. Often journalists risk their lives in order to bring news of what is happening to the people. Just imagine if were not able to read your weekly edition of the African Reporter? You’d have no idea of what is going on in the area.
Which brings me to my next topic – bullying.
There is way too much bullying going on these days. Not only kids are bullied – adults also get bullied.
Verbal bullying is just as wrong as being bullied physically. These days, with social media, you get cyberbullying too.
Sometimes people only properly recognise bullying when it’s physical. For example, when somebody pushes or hits you or hurts you in some other way.
The sad thing is that bullies are typically people who are being bullied themselves – usually at home. They then take it out on other people – normally smaller or weaker than themselves. It makes them feel better about their own situation – but it is completely wrong.
There are a number of ways of dealing with a bully.
You can try and deal with it yourself. Walk away whenever the bully approaches you. Pretend you are just walking away from a friend – that way your body language does not look like you are afraid. Bullies like it when you are afraid.
If the bully is verbally abusing you – think of something else – like what you are going to do that weekend or count in your head to 100. Anything that blocks out what the bully is saying. If you don’t hear it – it can’t hurt you.
If possible, try to hang around friends all the time so the bully cannot get you alone.
Never forget that you are a valuable person and it’s the bully that has the problem. Not you.
Of course you DO NOT HAVE TO DEAL WITH IT ALONE. You can happily go and speak to somebody that you trust – a prefect, parent, teacher or other adult. If they don’t believe you, speak to somebody else that does. If you are being bullied at work you can speak to your HR department.
Know your rights – being bullied is wrong.