Tag Archives: Essay

Concerning Bullies

This post was first published back in 2016 in my other blog site “The Unwarranted Bachelor”, under the title “The Nature of Bullies”. This has been edited and renamed for “Writings of Seb”.


Bullies can come in all shapes and sizes…and ages. As a kid, growing up in southern Manitoba, I experienced taunts from all age groups, this included teachers. You know those people who are supposed to teach you things? Those who are supposed to protect students from the mean students (to some degree)? Yup, those teachers.

I know there are children out there who take it upon themselves to bully teachers. This I’ve also witnessed. But why do teachers take the sides of the bullies? Or become bullies towards their pupils?

I can’t answer for them. What I can do is tell you my experiences and hopefully share some advice.

As a child, from an immigrant family with English being my second language, I was a slow learner. (This was especially true in grades one through four.) With that I was a slow reader. I actually couldn’t read properly until mid-way through grade four. I never told my teachers and they never really seemed to care.

The only students that they cared about was the smart kids and the special needs kids. (That was the term used for such children back then, and if it offends anyone than so be it.) I found myself in the middle and thus I was left out of their care.

As a child that is how I felt. My learning disability was kept a secret as much as my childhood depression was hidden from the world. So it seemed to me.

Back on topic: a teacher, who believed she was constantly the focal point of mockery, was a major culprit in this. As a slow reader and a slow note-taker, it took me ages to copy her lectures from the board and go on to the next section. One day when such a thing occurred, and I hadn’t finished jotting everything down and hadn’t opened my textbook to the page she demanded me to read, she snapped. “You think you’re too good to open your book?”

That day I knew she hated kids and despised her job. The question I have for such teachers is: why are you teaching our children if you loath them so much? Get out now before you destroy their lives forever.

I was afraid to tell the right people about this incident. Instead I handled it the best my young mind knew how. I exploded at her just as I did against all others who bullied me. My low self-esteem got the better of me then and, unfortunately, I find that this training is still prevalent in my way of thinking today.

Old habits die hard.

Being shown that one doesn’t matter, or is demonstrated to be a waste of time and space, remains in the subconscious far too long. A child grows up with the training of adults and his/her mind is moulded more by the negative experiences as with the positive. This is a sad truth.

What can a child do if a “trusted” teacher or other role-model is the bully?

Nothing! That is towards the culprit.

Everything! This is to get help. Children, no matter their age, need to be encouraged by their parents to share how their days went. All information given are clues parents need to be open to hearing.

As parents (which I am not one yet) we need to listen to our kids more than we need to probe them for information. If something seems amiss you, as loving parents, need to relay this information to someone at the school or school board who can do something about it.

Parents, ask questions about everything. Be in your children’s lives from the beginning. Foremost, be their parents; not their best friends; not police officers nor their lawyers. You need to find a balance to deal with bullies and help your child deal properly with bullies of all ages.

“Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord” (Eph. 6:4, ESV). Too much caring and too little caring can both lead a child to anger. Be careful.

When I say don’t be “their lawyers” I mean two things:

First, don’t ask leading questions. Especially when your kid doesn’t want to talk and you suspect the reason. Usually your suspected reason is the wrong reason. Never put words in their mouths just as you don’t want them to put words in your mouth.

Be respectful of them.

Second, don’t always take their word as hard core evidence in any case. If something in ongoing you will know. If it’s the first time a teacher bullied your kid (according to his/her account), listen but don’t go witch hunting that second. The story your kid just told you is from his/her recollection of the day’s event.

Always check the facts.

It may be difficult to sit by while your child is bullied, but what if your little one directly or indirectly asked for it?

One last thing to remember: what your kid believes is unfair treatment may not be unfair treatment. But teacher-bullies do exist and they need to be removed from their teaching posts, a.s.a.p.


DISCLAIMER: I am no expert in the field of mental illness or of childhood counselling/caregiving. All of my posts are solely my experiences and/or my opinions. There are a lot of people around who have opinions on anything and everything. Please, be careful and don’t believe all you read as fact or dismiss it as fiction.

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Merry Christmas, 2015!

Dear friends and readers,

I’d like to thank you all for following my blog. I look forward to another year of great writing, not only from this blogs but also from yours. Today is Christmas Eve! Tomorrow is Christmas! What does this mean to me as a Christian? Is it Jesus’ birthday? His blessed and miraculous advent? I’ve read many Christians and non-Christians using their misinterpretation of historical event in their way to attempt to discredit the idea of celebrating Christmas.

Whether pagans had their own holiday around the winter solstice is totally irrelevant. You could pick any day of the year and claim the exact same thing. December 25th is a day that was chosen and let’s leave it at that.

I’d like to say, “It does not matter what day of the year or season Jesus was actually born in.” What matters is we remember. Not only are we to remember the fact that He came, but also the reason for His coming and His immanent return.

Let’s focus on this and this only. Jesus Christ, God in the flesh, came down as an infant to live, be tempted like any other man. He died for the sins of the world and raised to life so that all who truly believe will have eternal life with Him. The best Christmas tradition we can partake in this holiday season is the reading of Christ’s birth.

Will you join me this week to focus not on Christmas but on the true meaning of Jesus Christ’s first coming and all that it entails?


My Rights vs Your Rights

The concept of personal rights or human rights has become a major part of the western society. Every one here believes he or she has “rights” to do something, be somewhere or just behave in some manner. But what happens when your “right” infringes on another person’s “right”?

Don’t get me wrong; I do believe we have rights, but I don’t believe “everything” society (generally speaking that is) claims to be rights. When I was younger, when VHS’s were still the norm, I went for my driver’s license and adults back then told us it was a privilege to drive and not a right. Okay, that’s all good and dandy, but why are people now, and ages past, acting in a way that is contrary to this piece of advice?

I can stretch this personal rights stuff to most aspects of life. In retail stores I’m constantly hearing people throwing a hissy fit when a product they “have a right to have” is out of stock. Or parents suing schools for not allowing their child to go against the school’s written policies. (I don’t think I need to expand on this. But the latter example is a growing issue, especially in USA.)

Enough random ranting–I’ll get to the point of this essay now. I have some perceived rights; you have some perceived rights; the person next to you has some perceived rights. But how far are you willing to go to exercise them? Who are you willing to sacrifice to get the next big thing you “have the right to have”?

Let’s reverse these questions: how far are you willing to go to allow someone else exercise their “rights”? Who are you willing to sacrifice to allow them to get the next big thing they “have the right to have”?

In a world of no absolute truth I will give you an absolute truth. But before I do I need to warn you: you may not agree with me and you may find this truth unnerving. I will tell you this, my claim to this truth will infringe on your right to claim it is not truth. The truth is “Everyone’s right infringes on everyone else’s right.”

Please, before you think or act like something is your right to have or do, think what if another person thought or acted the same way about the same thing? If you exercise your right to sit in the only chair in a crowed room, then you are infringing on another individual’s right to sit in the only chair in the room. What are your perceived rights? What are your perceived privileges? What are the differences?


An Outsider?

Have you ever felt like an outsider? Have you ever felt like your life was an intrusion on everyone else? Like your right to exist infringed on their right to breathe?

Well, you’re not alone; this is how I’ve felt most of my life, whether with friends, in college or at work. I will tell you this, my brothers and sisters, do not worry about anything in life. As the lilies are clothed by God’s hands, and the birds of the air are fed my His grace so He will be with you. God, our Father, knew you before you were in the womb. He had a purpose for you from the moment time began.

Do not worry about what others will say about you, or what they do to harm you. At the end of the day and life you will stand before Christ Jesus, who is our God and Redeemer. Only to Him will you give account of your life. Only our actions, words, and thoughts will be laid before His feet. All others will give accounts to Him for their own deeds, words, and thoughts.


For the Sake of Fighting

I’ve heard this many times, people (random strangers) arguing with someone for the sake of “being right”. Most issues people raise primarily concern children and pets. Why are strangers so animate about how others care for their young and animals? Quite frankly I believe it should be “NONE OF THEIR BUSINESS!” Now the only two exceptions of this are in cases of obvious abuse and neglect, and even then it needs to be “OBVIOUS!”

A good friend of mine had this happen to her right in front of her children. In her case it was regarding their puppy who was safe and comfortable in their van with the windows rolled down a wee bit on a cool spring afternoon. Tell me this: what is wrong with this picture? Was the dog being abused? No! Was he neglected? No! Pets can be left alone for long durations of time. The windows cracked open allowed air to pass through and his owners only went into the store for less then half an hour.

The angry woman threatened to break open a window and “free” the dog. I’m not sure if she was a dog owner herself, and to be honest that doesn’t matter. It shouldn’t matter. From what I’ve heard the woman in question was the vicious type who always “wants to be right”, she “needs to be right” at all times. She, like so many others, picks fights and threatens others over her small and irrelevant opinions.

Recently I was sitting in one of my favorite coffee shops and heard a lady mention to another customer regarding a similar experience with her child. A stranger accused her of being a “bad mother” because she left her stroller for a brief time, few seconds, so she could remedy the difficulty she had with getting it over or around an obstacle. Was the child being abused? No! What he or she being neglected? I would honestly say No! (I don’t know the whole story here and quite frankly it’s beside the point.)

The moral of this essay is “Don’t judge a complete stranger until you know the whole story.” I don’t want to see or hear families being torn apart because as fool has the selfish and delusional need to be always right.

Jesus said, “Judge not, that you be not judged. For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you. Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when there is the log in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.” (Matthew 7:1-5, ESV)

The most common paraphrase of this passage is “Judge not least ye be judged”. This can go for many other aspects of life. Another common example is non-parents accusing new parents of treating their child wrongly. “Judge not least ye be judged!” If know the entire story will you have the same opinion? Think about it.


Why In Such a Hurry?

This is a question I’m always asking the road when vehicle after vehicle passes me with such speed it surprises me they don’t flip over into the left side ditch. This post goes out to Christians who (by merit) should be holding to a similar worldview as I do.

Now I’m not saying I’m perfect nor better than anyone else. At times I am just as guilty as the next person. This is just as much a reminder to me as it is rhetoric to self-proclaimed Christians.

“So,” I ask you, “what’s your problem?” Going over the speed limit out of habit. Really? That’s the issue? That can’t be it. Well, there’s more to it than that. “The real problem is obeying the law of the land.”

What I’m referring to when I say “the law of the land” is the laws which by nature are neutral. That is the laws which don’t infringe on anyone’s religious or moral (human) rights.

Let’s take a look at what God’s Holy Word tells us on the subject matter:

“Everyone must submit to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except from God, and those that exist are instituted by God. So then, the one who resists the authority is opposing God’s command, and those who oppose it will bring judgment on themselves. For rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad. Do you want to be unafraid of the authority? Do what is good, and you will have its approval. For government is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, because it does not carry the sword for no reason. For government is God’s servant, an avenger that brings wrath on the one who does wrong. Therefore, you must submit, not only because of wrath, but also because of your conscience. And for this reason you pay taxes, since the authorities are God’s public servants, continually attending to these tasks. Pay your obligations to everyone: taxes to those you owe taxes, tolls to those you owe tolls, respect to those you owe respect, and honor to those you owe honor” (Romans 13:1-7, HCSB).

The question that often arises in regards to this passage is: what if the law of the land contradicts God’s commands? “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the greatest and most important command” (Matthew 22:37-38, HCSB).

With that said the answer is simple: obedience to God must take precedence, then obeying the laws set forth by the government.

Riddle me this: why do you feel the abundant urge to go over the assigned speed limits on a regular biases? Can you not slow down in life and on the road? Give yourself more time for the journey and less time for road rage.

Yes, you heard me right. I said road rage. One thing I’ve noticed is those who rely on high speeds and reckless behaviour while behind the wheel tend to exhibit road rage more frequently then the cautious drivers. And this road rage tents to be directed towards the cautious drivers.

This also goes for red lights and stop signs (even if you are turning right). Stop means stop, at least that’s what I was taught in grade school.

Please, obey the law of the land as long as it doesn’t contradict God’s commands. By doing so you are obeying God. Disobeying God has no other name then Sin.

[This is my first short essay I wrote entirely on my smart phone before I edited and posted it.]


Forgiveness

Forgiveness can be both a difficult act and a simple task to accomplish. The reasons for these polar-opposite responses depend strongly upon three major factors, one could say four factors. The three reasons are the offender’s remorse, the attitude of the offended, and the sincerity of the relationship between the two, past and present. The fourth factor is, in my opinion, the ability for both parties to forgive not only each other but themselves.

The remorse of the offender is crucial to the first step of forgiveness. This is true for him to gain the feeling be being forgiven. The offended may have forgiven the offender long ago in his heart without speaking the words. Forgiveness is peace that both parties need to strive towards.

The attitude of the offended is as equally as important as the remorse of the offender. The offender may be sincere in his apology, but cannot be forgiven if the offended remains hurt by the misdeed or has hurt feelings directed towards the offender. This factor comes down to the pain the offended is causing himself. Thus, the offended becomes the offender.

This inability to forgive, in essence, is revenge. The original offended desires for his offender to experience equal or more pain and suffering. If forgiveness is not sought by both parties this act of revenge becomes an unbreakable cycle that only forgiveness is able to shatter.

The importance of the relationship prior to the offense comes to the forefront. If the relationship had any significance then it should outweigh the offense. Both parties need to come to this conclusion independently of one another, with the intent to speak about the offense and their relationship prior, present, and future of the current time.

Forgiveness of self is important in the whole process of forgiveness of the other person. An offense is usually not an act committed by one person alone. The offender may have done the initial misdeed, but the offended may commit a counter measure of holding a grudge.

In order to be capable of forgiving the offender the offended first needs to forgive himself for the negative feelings he may have towards the offender. And on the other hand, the offender needs to forgive himself for committing the offense in the first place before he can seek true forgiveness.

This method may not always stand true. Forgiveness may come by other means. We must seek forgiveness from God the Father daily. Every sin, no matter how small or how large, God is able to forgive, if we the offenders seek Him in truth and humility. We must also ask the Father for the ability to forgive self, as well as to forgive others. This is another amazing gift He bestows upon us by means of the Holy Spirit through the death and resurrection of Christ Jesus, our Lord and Saviour.