Do you want to be a bully or a hero?

by mental health campaigner and Respect Yourself ambassador Kiana James.

It’s amazing how many people have the same name as us, but would you like the name “bully”? A bully is not a nice name, but so many people are called bullies because they are bullies. Never do anything to get the name bully because it’s wrong and it is not something to be proud of. So many people are sad, afraid and feeling alone because of being bullied, and lots of people all over the world are being bullied – not just children but adults too, and they need to be saved.

If you are feeling sad and keeping it all to yourself because you feel silly and are afraid that people will think you are lying, you have to remind yourself you are not silly. You have to remind yourself, if you are silly how have you learnt all the things you have in your life? And sometimes not just because of others but yourself too, and have to tell yourself if some people think you are lying they are not being very good at listening and you must tell someone that is, and you will know who they are because they always listen to you. There will be someone that will listen to you and help you get through this.

I know for someone that is being bullied it’s a very scary and horrible time every time you think about it, which is most of the time. Your heart will beat really fast like you are running from the bully but you are sitting down just trying to watch a movie or draw a picture.

If you watched a movie about you being bullied you would see it’s not your fault. You would see the bully was in the wrong, you would see someone would listen, you would see that it is not okay what you are going through. You would see you are not silly because of all the things you have learnt in your life. And one of the biggest things you would see is bullying is wrong and that you have to tell someone, because that bully could bully lots of other people. There always has to be someone that is a hero that saves lots of other people, and there are lots of heroes in the world. Can you be your hero in the movie? Can you think of a hero? Maybe a hero from a book or TV? Even from your favourite movie?

You can be other people’s hero then. Because of you there could be more heroes telling others that they are being bullied too because you made them brave by telling someone about the bully, what they do, what they say to hurt you because bullies try and get you to keep all they do to yourself and make you feel afraid to say anything. You could be a hero by saving peoples’ feelings and from getting hurt by the bully.

But if you had seen a fire, even though it scared you I know what you would do – you would call the fire brigade and they would listen to everything you are saying and they would work so hard to put that fire out. Even though you were scared, you would have done something so important and the firefighters would be very brave.

You can be brave too. You should not have to be scared and you should not have to feel scared when you want to feel happy watching a fun movie and drawing nice pictures. You want to be happy having fun with friends whilst feeling safe, and knowing your friends would never hurt you. You need to go to school and look forward to learning new things, playing on the playground at play time without the fear that someone is going to push you over, rip up your homework, call you names and pull your hair in secret.

It’s not okay for anyone to be a bully. It’s not okay for anyone to be bullied. Being a bully is not a cool thing, and if you are a bully and you have friends, they pretend to like you because they are scared of you. That is not a cool and clever reason. Wouldn’t you like it if you had friends because of different reasons? I bet you are good at doing other things and much more than being a bully. I think you are good at being a bad bully. What do think? And I bet you are very good at saying sorry, maybe you could try and say sorry for being a bully. And then when you feel ready, say sorry for being a bully and ask, can you be forgiven?

A bully could be brave too. A bully could turn into a hero. So the question is this: what do you want to be, a bully or a hero?

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About the author: Kiana James is a mental health campaigner and ambassador for Respect Yourself. Raised in a children’s home between the ages 10-16, she lost many people to suicide, drug overdose, drug addiction and alcohol abuse, and has since dedicated herself to helping people with mental health problems, drug addiction and children with challenging behaviour problems. She wants to be the voice for those that matter, those who are getting ignored and that deserve time, understanding and the chance for growth. Kiana is a mental health campaigner and is known for her song ‘Battling Your Cries’, written to raise mental health awareness. She is a self-taught dancer and a writer, and highly recommends that we all reach out to those who need it, to make a difference and to help them discover what makes them feel fulfilled.

You can follow Kiana on twitter: @KianajamesKiana.

image: Bully by Sergejs Babikovs under Creative Commons license