Sunday, November 27, 2016
This I Believe (Final Essay 1) (H1)
This I Believe
I’m still not quite sure how it started. I’ve been racking my brain lately trying to figure out when the first time I was bullied was, but all the hundreds of memories of bullying just meld together into one large miserable story. I have been through almost every type of bullying there is: name calling, physical, relational, cyber, and sexual. I was bullied consistently from kindergarten until I dropped out of high school. However, I did not drop out of High School solely because I was bullied. During a Basketball trip in December of my Junior year I quit the team because of bullying by fellow teammates. It had been happening since my Freshman year, and I had finally had enough. I loved, and still love, basketball, but they had managed to kill my passion for it at the time. It was the first extremely difficult “adult” decision I had made. More importantly, it was a major turning point in my life. After leaving the team, I began noticing the harshness of life around my school. So many kids were bullied terribly and it seemed to be accepted as the normal way of life. Teachers saw and knew about the bullying yet it never stopped. Most teachers and faculty ignored it because it wasn’t their problem. Others would excuse it by saying things like “kids will be kids” and “she [the bully] is a good student”.
I have always loved school and learning, but I began to loath just waking up in the morning to go to school. I eventually turned to looking for a way out. Any way out. When most people ask I just give them the short “I dropped out of high school because of bullying” explanation, but that is far from the whole story. My senior year I decided to let myself “fail” trigonometry so that my parents would sign me out of school before the grade was able to damage my GPA. My father, knowing me to well, made me give him the real reason I wanted to leave. I told him, in tears, and the next day he signed me out into independent home-schooling. I took the GED a few weeks later on my 18th birthday. I took a semester off from school and worked. In Fall 2014, I began my college career at Middle Tennessee State University.
My life has changed so much since I left high school. I left knowing I had to do something to change the way children are growing up in this country. It took me two years into college to come to exactly how to do this. Most of this changed happened my Sophomore year. I was finally in a position in my life where I could move, breathe, and act without being judged and shut down by the majority of people around me. I went from feeling alone to having staff members, family, friends, professors, and a loving boyfriend that fully supported me. Just before my junior year began, I created a social movement that I plan on converting to a Not-for-Profit Organization when I graduate. The social movement, Through the Mind into the Heart, has two main missions: Make the World Care and ProHelp Bullying.
It took me quite a while to make it to this level of thinking. When I left high school, I left despising my bullies and all of the individuals who refused to help me. I started college knowing I wanted to help those children who were bullied, but I wanted to do so by punishing and devaluing the bullies. It was not until just before my junior year that I was finally able to let this go. I had been through many of my Psychology classes already and I had learned an immense amount from them. I had gotten the basic reasoning that there is a reason for everything. One teacher helped to bring this to surface by telling my class of studies about aggression and violent television and media. These studies showed that the aggressive media was not the cause of the children being aggressive. It was the lack of punishment for aggressive behaviors, or the actual or unintended reward of these behaviors. Thinking back to this during the summer of 2016 I asked myself, “what actually causes a child to bully?” It can’t be that they are all terrible individuals. In fact, I know that’s not the case. Research has been done showing that many terrible situations and ailments in a child’s life can turn them into bullies. So why are we not taking this in to account when trying to combat bullying?
ProHelp Bullying is a term most are unfamiliar with, mostly because it was not a term until I started my movement. The goal is to replace Anti-Bullying methods of handling bullying with a ProHelp method. Think about middle school and high school. Who were the bullies? Often bullies are victims of something else. Sometimes it is bullying, but sometimes it is much worse. Bullies can be victims of child abuse, sexual abuse, sexual assault, mental disorders, neglect, and much more. Even children that seem to only have the problem of being “rich and spoiled” still need help learning how to behave properly. It is our duty as humans to ensure the children on both sides of this terrible occurrence receive the help they need.
Through the Mind into the Heart has two main, intertwining missions. The first is taking the aforementioned notion of ProHelp Bullying and making a ProHelp Bullying plan to be put in place in schools nationwide. The second mission is ‘make the world care’. It is all to prevalent that the vast majority of individuals don’t care about the pandemic of bullying occurring in our schools until there is a tragedy (suicide, shooting, etc.). It’s not enough to just care when these things happen. It is the years of torment and pain before the incidents that need to be cared about. Once this becomes an official non-profit we will pursue these missions in many ways. One way will be through supporting student organizations that support the movement. I have already started one of these organizations at Middle Tennessee State University. The major objective of Through the Mind into the Heart will be supporting research going towards the completion of a ProHelp plan. One way in which research will be supported will be issuing grants to individuals pursing research to put towards the ProHelp Plan. It will also create a very large network of researchers across many fields, universities, and states. These connections will be supported and strengthened through conferences held to bring many researches together discussing and forming the plan. I know establishing such a large organization will not be an easy feat, but I am prepared to do whatever is necessary. This issue has gone over looked for far too long. Bringing this change is crucial to improving the lives of our countries youth and the future of America.
Making this change in the world is my responsibility. This I know.
Stephanie Elise Carpenter