I remember when I was in elementary school, and learned that there were opposites to the negative parts of life; I was excited. I first learned about opposites and understood it to mean two things could be directly opposed to, and totally reversed in intention/purpose to one another yet often need that opponent and in co-existing with this other, a sort of balance is created. Bullying & violence were regular fears and so naturally I applied this new found knowledge in those places first. I put Anti in front of the negative situation. Anti violence, that means pro peace. And Anti Bullying, well that’s being a nice person, a helper. It was a lesson I learned when I was very young, but it taught be how to be a helper, or what I’m calling ANTI BULLY! I have been talking about this concept for a few years in my public speeches and writing, I also published a post on Community News Commons in 2012 entitled “Anti Bully: The Secret Weapon Is You”.
Becoming an Anti-Bully
When I was 10-years-old, and I was the victim of intense bullying to the point of contemplating suicide, I made a commitment to become an Anti-Bully. I thought that bullies built up and then used their popularity, social intelligence and their hands for negative purposes. It was similair to a villain in a comic using their superpowers for evil.
An anti-bully would use their influence, creativity and example for positive purposes; akin to a superhero using their superpowers for good. Through our example, we make being respectful a cool trait; which would make bullying uncool. We could laugh more, ask for help when we need it and stand by our peers.
I have committed to sharing my thoughts on 6 strategies that I believe can help students become Anti Bullies, & along the way will also share examples of what we can use instead of “anti” – meaning we focus on what we want, or the solution, instead of letting the problem or challenge take our energy. It is our young people who can save lives.
The core concept here is that we as young people can be a part of a solution when it comes to combating youth suicide. Our example is our most powerful tool in the fight to keep our young people, our classrooms and communities safe.