Letter to the editor

Say no to bullying; you could save a life

March 26, 2013 

Just this last week I lost a friend to bullying; she committed suicide. She always smiled and spoke to me as she entered class. I did not sense nor know she was being bullied. I was there and did not see any sign of distress whatsoever. She always had a smile on her face for me, a “good morning,” and I did not know her troubles.

It appears she was being bullied or maliciously teased over Facebook and did not know which way to turn. Who to trust. Who to ask. Who to speak to or confide in. I did not know and I am so, so sorry.

She was a good and gracious lady, a giving person. She never said a terse comment, a negative word, nor a mean-spirited suggestion to another human being. She came to class on time. Participated in discussions. Said good-bye at class end. For clinical labs she showed up on time, stayed until the end, and worried about perfecting hospital skills and answering beginner’s medical questions, as did all our classmates.

Unfortunately, I did not get to have that growing relationship, and never will, due to someone bullying her and placing her at that point in her life, state of mind, or point of sorrow that forced her to take her life. If you have not been to that point mentally, you can’t begin to understand this woman’s predicament. Have you seen someone that fits this description?

Bullying is a vicious game played and carried out by mindless, sadistic individuals. It is where the mean prey upon the weak, temporarily or long-term. It could be something said, half-truths, out-of-context quotes, or just mean, malicious lies. Bullying could also be physical abuse. Predators are not good people looking to help others. Their sense of fair-mindedness is twisted and cruel. Predators are mean-spirited looking to have “fun” at another’s expense. Shame on them, but shame on us also.

We have the moral and ethical responsibility to look out for persons that are bullied, vulnerable people. We need to listen and see the signs of a person in distress, becoming isolated, being extremely quiet, being introverted, and being a “loner.” It takes but a second to smile, say hello, and wish a departing classmate or friend a “good day.” We need to ask them how their “day is going” and be prepared to listen. We need to keep our ears, minds, eyes, and other senses open to our peers, workmates, and, especially, our friends.

Don’t allow a person to be bullied or mistreated by mean people. Stand up for others weaker than you for some day you may need someone to stand up for you. Be human. Be kind. Be generous and listen for a friend’s call for help.

The writer lives in Myrtle Beach.

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