Culture · History

Keys to Survive the Bullying

Recently there are a lot of campaign about stop bullying because so many children had died due to the bullying. I felt sorry for them who died for the cause of bullying but let’s be honest, we can’t stop bullying. Fighting bullying is just like fighting the mother nature. That’s how the mother nature works, the strong beats the weak. Even until it dies so to speak. But if you hold on Darwin’s principal firmly, you may get a hint of survival in this urban jungle called school. Darwin once said that it is not the strong who survives, but one who could adapt. Even the gigantic monstrous lizard called Dinosaurs who walked on earth million years ago could be wiped out and they were replaced by the smaller reptiles. Do reptiles extinct from the face of the earth? They don’t! They just evolving into the smaller lizard for the cause of survival and that’s the key to survival, to adapt!

I once get bullied when I was in elementary school. I didn’t know how it was started nor how I could get there. Suddenly I got isolated from my peers, even my friend who sat next to me hurt me physically. They once called me Tabloid it stands for Tampang Bloon Idiot. It means I posses some stupid and idiotic looks.

The bully didn’t stop there. I sometimes even get bullied at home by my own siblings! They are older than me. The siblings who supposed to protect me, they did otherwise. They even won’t stop until I cried. When I cried they left me. So I used crying as a mean of survival, so the could stop bothering me. I didn’t care if they called me pussy or whatever, as long as they left, it’s a bit of relieve for me. Moreover it is considered unacceptable and insolence if you fight your older brothers and sisters back in Javanese norm. You must obey whatever your elderly said and ask in Javanese norm. I admit that it was such a repressive tradition but unfortunately, I couldn’t choose where I want to be born at.

I didn’t have someone to run to when I was a kid. Luckily I have these little fellows, Lego Men, and some Lego toys to turn to. My little world to escape from the wilderness of my home and school. I loved to play with them, creating my own tiny space of peace with them.

So what did I do to all of those nonsense? I just let them go. There is a saying in Indonesia for ignoring those rubbish blabber, we call it “(the words are) entering from the right ear and  coming out from the left ear.” Just let them go. It won’t last for so long. You just have to keep on believe in yourself, that it is worth it to live the life by yourself. I know that my life is not somewhat extraordinary like those who travel circumnavigating the globe nor I create something useful for the masses, but to breath the air in the morning, listen to the good music, eat the delicious food, and see the terrific scenery around us or just a little walk down to the park is worth to live.  There are so many good things on earth to be thankful for, and that leads us to the second key to survive the bullying, and the key is to be always feel thankful of whatever we have.

Bullying won’t stop when you grow up. They’re just changing form. They become critics and different point of view or opinions. Wait, maybe you might say that I’m a type of anti-critics guy or something, but what I tried to tell you is perhaps what my friends and siblings did when I was a kid could be a critics or opinions. My friends back then told me that I possessed some idiotic face, but hey, that’s their bloody opinion! Unfortunately, I didn’t subscribe their point of view. Perhaps I had that idiotic face otherwise my face will show up at the cover of Men’s Health magazine or so but that’s not the case. So just like the popular British poster during the second world war, I just “keep calm and carry on.”

If from the beginning you can’t stand the bullying, what will happen to you when you become successful person, let’s say a politician, great actors or actresses, successful business tycoon? There would be someone who envy your success and try to drag you down. There is a cost of being successful. Just like what Don Cattano said to Frank Lucas in the movie of American Gangster, “Success. It’s got enemies. You can be successful and have enemies or you can be unsuccessful and have friends.”

These people are called haters these days and they are every where. What will you do if you couldn’t stand them? You will hang yourself and die? It will make them sad for days but later they will forget you or even happy because no one is standing on their way again to achieve their goal. Is this what you want? To be banished from the face of history? I believe that you can be greater! Use that bullies as a fuel to always improve yourself. It is your life not theirs. Don’t let what had been said by those bullies dictate and overwhelm your mind, of course you have something good to do or at least the world still offer you their grace to live by.

If you can’t stand it, just go away, find an escape pod, but don’t leave this world! It won’t solve the problem but rather worsen it. It will cause problem to your friends especially your friends who always bully you, though you hate them, your school and the mostly it will take toll to your parent who were keeping you from dying since the day you open your tiny little eyes in this world.

Even when you try to start doing something great, people will underestimate you. Sometimes it comes from your family, your mother or father for example. The person who should give you a full support, suddenly they turn against you. If you can’t stand that, what will you do? Stop doing it? If everyone can’t stand bullying, there won’t be Lamborghini, KFC, Starbucks, Facebook, or other big brands you name it. Because the first step to achieve the great thing is to believe in yourself and you have to admit when you make failure and carry on. Whatever your next step may be.

The third key to survive bullying is by making peace with them. If your friends told you that you are fat and your weight is far beyond the normal weight rate, then you are fat. One way to make them stop bullying you is to lose some weight then. Simple. If your friend told you that you are gay, but in fact you are not or perhaps you are, but you’re kind of picky person, then you can throw a joke back at them by kissing all of those guy bullying friends, there’s a possibility they will stop bullying you by doing so.

When I went to high school in Bogor, I was the only student who came from Semarang. The majority of students who went there were mostly coming from Jakarta or the surrounding area of Jakarta where most of them speak Indonesian meanwhile I in the other hand speak Javanese on my daily basis. Though Indonesian language is taught in schools in Semarang, but when people in Semarang speak Indonesian, they usually put some Javanese words in their conversation to complete the sentence and every one understands it, but not in my high school. I have to admit that it’s not easy to turn from speaking Javanese into Indonesian as a daily basis. I have to find an exact translation for these Javanese vocabularies that I used to speak to complete my sentence into Indonesian vocabularies that everybody could understand and added up with my distinctive Javanese accent called “medhok”, my friends called me Jawa or a Javanese.

At first, I was so upset with my new nickname. I found it so racist. Sometimes I got angry when they called out my nickname. But after couple of months I finally accepted it because in fact, I’m a Javanese. They event modify it to Jawir that stands for Jawa Nyengir or a Smiling Javanese because they said that I kept smiling all the time. The senior students even modified into more fashionable term James that stands for Jawa Mesum or a Perverted Javanese because I told them some nasty stories at the mosque! Yeah, I was such a devoted Muslim back then. That’s what I did, I just could get along with my new nickname and everything was fine. Even now it becomes a sign of those who really close to me during the high school, because if there was a schoolmate who called me with my real name, then there was a possibility that he/she was not really get acquaintance with me personally.

The last key to survive the bullying, though I don’t really recommend it because I’m kind of pacifist person is to fight back those who bully you. If you could stand up and fight for yourself and you can beat those who bully you, then there is a possibility that you can change the tide of war. Even you can earn respect from your peers because you can stand for yourself and fight. But it also has a downside effect that if they cannot accept the fact that you can beat those who bully you, they could run away and come back with the bigger force to beat you down and it will make things become more complicated.

That’s all what I can say to all of you folks today. I think it is almost impossible to stop bullying because it’s like trying to stop a volcano to erupt but it is still possible to survive the eruption. So, stand up for yourself and be confident. If you can’t believe in yourself, why should every one else believes you? No one else can help you but you.

I survived the bullying, so can you.


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