Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Bullying, Repentance and Forgiveness

Here's a non-nostalgia related post, but I feel its important to post.

Its a report about a high school bully who reached out to his victim 20 years later, and offered a long belated apology.  The former bully decided to apologize after talking with his own child about bullying, and realizing that he had to admit that he himself had been a bully. The apology, as late as it was, had a positive effect. 

I'm posting this because it struck a cord with me.  Bullying can leave wounds that last a long time. Its easy for those who have not experienced extreme bullying, or those who have done the bullying, to act like it was no big deal. But if you've been a victim of severe physical or psychological mistreatment, you know it stays with you for years to come.

It takes guts for a former bully to acknowledge past bad behavior, and to apologize to their victims.  This is hard when the behavior is recent, and maybe even more so when the behavior is long past and could be easily forgotten and "swept under the rug."  It also takes courage for the victims to forgive the mistreatment that happened to them.

If anyone reading this was a former bully, I encourage you to think back on what you did, and see if you can locate a former victim and apologize to them.  And if you are a former victim (as I was), I encourage you to forgive.


Here's an excellent video which gives accounts of bullying, and its effects. I found it on the site of one of the commenters to this post, and think it adds to the discussion about this issue.