It is with a heavy heart that I bring to light a topic that affects children, and adults, throughout American society. Growing up I faced challenges. I was bullied as a young child for being larger than other kids, for having educational difficulties, and because I didn’t fit into cliques. I overcame those challenging moments as a child by focusing on extracurricular activities such as 4-H, FFA and community service. I thought when I became an adult, bullying would be phased out, but our society now has developed a cancer called social media. I am just as guilty as everyone else. We are addicted and crave the social acknowledgement through emojis, thumbs up, sad faces and angry faces. We as a society are losing the ability to be responsible adults and speak face-to-face to share our adventures and resolve our differences. Some would rather hide in cyber land and create social differences, using group bullying to persecute individuals for their opinion, lifestyle and/or beliefs. It’s upsetting to admit, but as an adult, I was a victim of cyber/social bullying as a former elected official, emergency service responder, and as a citizen by those in official office, emergency services and people I don’t even know. The definition of bullying is an attempt to gain superiority or control over another through coercion, intimidation, or domination of another person. I have chosen to overcome these bullying attacks by stepping away from social media and committing myself to face-to-face conversations and interactions in the community, emergency services, and with friends and family. We condemn bullying and preach to our youth of today, yet those same adults turn around and do it to others. I forgive those who have bullied me.
Albert Einstein said, “We can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.”
Anthony Karhoff, Bancroft