I’m writing this column on Sept. 1. This is significant because more Japanese school students commit suicide on this date than on any other date according to numbers taken over the last 40 years. What’s the reason for the spike? It’s believed that this increase in suicide is directly related to the start of the new semesters at school. If you’ve ever gone to school or if you’ve ever had a child in school, it’s not hard to put it together that bullying is the real problem here. 

These kids get the whole summer as a haven from the abuse, mental and physical, that they endure throughout the school year and then when it all starts again, it’s just too much for them to bear. 

I’m sure some of the kids talk to adults or friends to help them, but in the end, many take their own lives because they don’t see an end to their constant struggles against the bullies they deal with on a daily basis.

It’s no different here in America. We see, daily, how that people can’t seem to deal with the thoughts and situations that they are going through and they turn to death instead of life because they see no light in the option of life.

When someone actually reaches out for help in this situation, it’s important to be the voice of reason for these people. 

I’m glad to see that our law enforcement officials seems to be taking a stand against bullies when it comes to the suicide of a teenage boy from Massachusetts.

According to reports, Michelle Carter, the 17 year-old girlfriend of Conrad Roy III, convinced Roy to commit suicide through her text messages with him.

This young man reached out to his girlfriend when he felt overwhelmed and for nothing more than pity’s sake, she encouraged him to end his life. She was even quoted as saying things like, “Overcome your doubts.” and “You’re finally going to be happy in heaven. No more pain.” She even went so far as to say, “It’s okay to be scared and it’s normal. I mean, you’re about to die.” Perhaps one of the striking blows was when she sent this message: “You always say you’re gonna do it, but you never do,” Carter complained. “I just want to make sure tonight is the real thing.”

It is obvious that this girl wanted him dead and she bullied him until it finally happened. 

What is wrong with people? It would be different if bullying weren’t an ongoing problem in our society.

September 1 holds as a remembrance of a much closer realization of bullying and suicide as this day marks the one year anniversary of when my godson, Luke, was laid to rest after committing suicide. He was only 12 years old. If you don’t think that bullying hits home or is relevant to you, then you are living with your head in the sand. 

Children are taking their lives every day and many times it is because of a person or a group of people bullying them.

If you are connected with a bully, put them in their place. It’s not okay to make fun of others. It’s not okay to be mean to those around you. It’s time we take a stand against this. It’s time that people start to answer for their words and actions when it comes to bullying. It’s not a harmless thing to do. It’s not all done in innocent fun. 

People get hurt, people die. And people are left to bear the memory of those who have gone on. There are questions that will never be answered and there will forever be the ultimate question of why.

If your child or grandchild is a bully, it’s time to stop letting it slide or excuse it. Show them the statistics. Let  them see what could happen if they continue to bully. Put a face and a reaction to their bullying and see if that wakes them up to the harmful effects of their actions.

If you know someone who is being bullied, be a friend to them. Don’t turn a blind eye to it. Walk with them, not away from them. Stand up for the victim. I can assure you that you would appreciate someone standing up for you.

We lose nothing by standing up for people to treat each other with respect. 

And let’s be honest, bullying doesn’t stop in high school. Bullies come in all shapes and sizes and they don’t stop when they graduate. 

If you are dealing with a bully as an adult, seek help. Look at the big picture. There is always hope.

Our job is to show hope to those around us. It’s our responsibility to be a light especially to those who can’t see a light at the end of their tunnel. 

Be the light. Be a friend.

This Week's Circulars