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A new voice has been added to the bullying issue and it’s an unusual one, Bette Midler.   I’ve always enjoyed her work but her latest post on facebook echoes my thoughts lately.

It is a sad, sad day for America when young people would rather die than endure one more day of hatred and relentless persecution. As a mother, I am ashamed of all the parents who have failed to teach even the most basic human lessons to their children, “Live and let Live” and “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” The normal, everyday kindness that we took for granted just a few years ago is a thing of the past, and I for one, mourn it deeply. Technology, the Internet, with its anonymity, have allowed people to behave like beasts, pouncing on the weak and howling with laughter when they inflict a wound, that only the strongest could survive. What are we doing to ourselves? How are we to survive as a nation, when hate seems to be the only thing that motivates us??

Four children are dead by their own hand because they just couldn’t take any more. How many more are we going to sacrifice to the hyenas? Isn’t it time to stop?

If you want to comment or forward this post on your facebook account (which I highly recommend) you can connect  here.

I’ve been wondering how much of the callousness of our youth is being nurtured by the anonymity of the internet.  Add to that the blatant, unabashed vitriol we see every day from our politicians and reality TV.  I fear that what we have become is a society that is turning it’s back on community and the concept of behaving for the good of the community.

Reality TV rewards individuals who win and highlights the worst of behavior.  The individual is king, there is no community. Tell me how any of them are contributing in a positive way towards their community?  And yet, they’re making a lot of money and becoming celebrities.   This combination of money (which is the only source of power in our society) and media coverage perpetuates the problem.  Meanwhile, those of us who try to live our lives in a mindful manner, play by the rules, and give of ourselves to others, are struggling.

Now, before you start thinking that I’m becoming a media/internet hater, I am not advocating getting rid of TV or the internet.  I do not believe that these are the evil Frankenstein monsters of our society.  We have been able to do so many wonderful things through the collaboration of the internet with so much access to information that we can use to solve our problems.  We can research anything from a do-it-yourself project to medical conditions.

Somewhere we’ve made a wrong turn in acceptable behavior.  The problem is that we are not taking a stand against the bullies online because we are too polite to call them out.  We allow ridiculous things to be said and go unchallenged by others – politicians, facebook postings, celebrities, etc.  Or, even worse, we believe the outrageous comments or sound bites which just furthers the credibility of these idiots.

Is it too late for us to turn this around?  Does it make any sense for us to continue or  have we become a vanishing species about to be swallowed by the vicious predators around us?

I think what it takes is for us to stop remaining silent.  We must respectfully challenge these comments.  My challenge to you is to take a stand.  The next time someone posts a ridiculous comment – challenge their thinking.   The next time you see someone make an outrageous claim, research it and find out if it is really true.   And, when you find it is not, challenge it!  Ignorance and intolerance cannot be allowed to continue.

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