Updated: 3 days ago
Bullying has become a pervasive problem in today's society. The recent incident captured on TikTok highlights the need for empathy and understanding toward those who bully others. This issue is not confined to schools but also in the workplace, online, and public spaces.
In "Mrs. Franchy's Evil Ring and the Six Months That Changed Everything," Isla is bullied by Melissa. Still, she later realizes that Melissa was going through a similar experience and was hurting inside, leading to her desire to hurt others. Once Isla understood this, she could empathize with Melissa and create a new friendship.
Of course, Isla accepts the friendship once she learns there is something more about Melissa she was unaware of. She has her friend Evelissé who looks out for her and protects her. Evelissé teaches Isla how to stand up for herself and set boundaries. I think we all need a friend like Evelissé.
Similarly, a recent incident on TikTok shows two women mocking an influencer for taking a selfie at a baseball game. I saw two women are unhappy with themselves and thus highlighting the need for empathy towards them too. While their behavior is not excusable, and I am a proponent of accountability in these cases to ensure that the behavior does not continue, it does not negate the need for others to give these women empathy. It also does not negate the need for others who saw this to be like Evelissé and stand up for what is right.
It's important to understand that hurt people hurt others. Instead of continuing this behavior, we should learn to stop and mitigate it. Through empathy and understanding, we can break the cycle of bullying and create a safer, kinder world for everyone. Let's take inspiration from Isla and Evelissé to reach out to hurting people, understand their pain, set respectful boundaries, and commit to standing up for those bullied.