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Friday, April 20, 2012

Home Security Solution for The Single Parent

The year was 1980. I had just moved into an apartment complex with my oldest daughter (only child at the time). Two men had broken into my one-bedroom apartment, which was very easy to do, considering I left the sliding glass doors open in the living room. 

The overwhelming heat in my tiny apartment was alleviated only by that door being open, and it never occurred to me to install any home security equipment. I figured I could protect my daughter, and I had nothing worth stealing, so why worry.

What I didn't bargain for was the possibility that the people who resided in my apartment before I lived there might have been drug dealers.

The time was 4:00 in the morning. I had awakened with an asthma attack and attempted to get up so I could walk into the dining room where I kept my inhaler. Before I got there, however, a man with a mask pushed me back down into my bed, covered my face with a glove, and held a knife to my throat. Fortunately I was disoriented – I thought he was my (then) fiancĂ© playing some kind of sick joke on me, so I didn't respond the way I might have had I known he was an actual intruder.

He allowed me to go into the dining room to get my inhaler. And that was when I noticed another man rummaging through my freezer.

Everything turned out well. They left with nothing and my daughter and I weren't harmed. After calling the police, I discovered that I had unknowingly moved into a high crime area, and that the reason the guy was going through my freezer was because drug dealers often hide their stash in the freezer. 

I moved out of there as soon as I could find a new place, and while I was frightened for several months, I learned a valuable lesson – never leave yourself or your family unprotected. I am now more vigilant.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Bully, The Movie

Bully Opens in Theaters April 27, 2012
When Bully's original rating made it impossible for children to view it, I, along with so many other concerned parents, grandparents, and educators, couldn't believe the ridiculous rating. As of March 26, 2012, however, The Weinstein Company announced that Bully would be released unrated. 

To that I say BRAVO, Weinstein Company. BRAVO! Bullies are everywhere and the problem has been getting worse and worse. You often hear people say, "Somebody should do something about that." Well, in the case of putting an end to bullying, somebody has – The Weinstein Company. 

According to the movie, 13 million kids will be bullied in the U.S. this year. But maybe, just maybe, if kids watch this movie – if parents, grandparents, school administrators, and bus drivers step up and put an end to the bullying they see at home, at school, and on the bus – just maybe we can lower that number substantially.

Bullying isn't just about somebody beating up a classmate. Bullying happens in the home too, and the sooner we realize how prominent a role bullying has taken in our society, the sooner we admit we have become a nation filled with bullies. WE MUST END this devastating problem. And we have to STOP IGNORING IT!

Sometimes bullying happens in the home because parents believe that bullying and beating their kids is a God-given right. After watching their parents or perhaps taking a cue from some of the violent movies they watch, children are now whacking their brothers and sisters in the head, because their parents slam them into walls or beat them. Kids scream at their siblings and abuse them; the abused ones feel ashamed to be alive.

The ones who get bullied retreat, and they can think of no solution to ending the abuse other than by responding with a decision that will truly end the abuse: KIDS ARE KILLING THEMSELVES BECAUSE THEY ARE BEING BULLIED! 

How many more reasons do we need before we end this type of abuse!

Stupid question, right? Because the question means we have to supply a number, and the answer should be NONE! Abusing siblings is NOT ACCEPTABLE. Abusing classmates is NOT ACCEPTABLE. How did, "kids will be kids" and "boys will be boys" come to mean that bullying was just a part of growing up?

I am disgusted by the proliferation of bullying. Something is seriously wrong with a mind that thinks that kicking, beating, intimidating, and emotionally torturing another human being is acceptable behavior. Do these kids really think that others will view them as being worthy of respect because they belittle and humiliate another human being? Has our society become that sick? How do kids who bully other kids justify their behavior? 

Perhaps they can't. Their warped thinking won't allow them to consider why they torture and abuse kids. They are so filled with rage and the need to dominate another human being, they pick on the people they perceive to be weaker than they are. They would never choose somebody they perceived to be stronger. And then when they use the power of peer pressure to drag others into the mix, peer mentality kicks in, and the child who is being tortured feels that nobody likes him and that nothing will change his circumstances; he has no reason to live. 

Is it too late? Do we just watch bullying progress to the point where bullies take over the schools and then the nation? The movie, Bully, will hopefully impact bullies in such a way that whatever leadership tendencies they have transforms from destructive tendencies to productive abilities. Hopefully they will feel compassion for treating their fellow human beings with disdain and hatred. Hopefully Bully will be taken seriously. 

If you would like to see the trailer for the movie, Bully, please click Bully Official Trailer #1 - Weinstein Company Movie (2012) HD

And if you see a kid torturing another child, if your own children think that slapping, hitting, kicking, or emotionally abusing their sibling is OK, step up and make a difference in your child's life. As one child said in the Bully movie, "All it takes is for one person to stand up." All it takes is for one person to speak up and make a difference.

Will you be the person who makes a difference?

Bully appears in theaters April 27, 2012.

For more articles on bullying, please read:

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