Let’s Make It Better

Rise and Shine Everyone!

Matthew here. It’s been over 3 weeks since my last blog post. A lot has happened since then. For starters, I’m back in Chennai and the city is HOTTER than ever. And not in a good way. When did Chennai get so bleeding hot? Oh and to make things worse, the electricity board has extended the power-cut schedule from an hour to two!! Isn’t it just the perfect time to be back home??

Anyway, on a less “FUN “note, last night I witnessed something quite shocking! I was driving around my neighbourhood when I saw two boys, probably around the ages of 7 or 8, bullying a younger kid. And I don’t mean just verbally. They each had a stone in their hands and they were aiming it at the kid! Thankfully, no physical damage was done.

But that doesn’t make me feel better at all. In fact it scared me. They were little kids for crying out loud! This isn’t the kind of behaviour you except from them. This just proves the fact that bullying is definitely a problem that needs to be addressed. Unfortunately, it’s more often than not swept under the rug instead.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with the term “Bullying” (crawl out of your caves please); It is an act of aggression carried out repeatedly and intentionally, through words or actions against a person or a group of people, to cause distress and risk to their well-being.

We’ve all been witnesses to the act of bullying or even been bullied ourselves in some way shape or form in our lives, whether it’s by the jock (or the ‘royal bitch’ for the ladies) in high-school , or an arrogant boss at your workplace, or maybe somebody/ a group in some online social space. You’ve seen them, you know them…and their victims, but what have you done to help? If your answer is, NOTHING, then I’m going to tell you why it can be just as harmful to be a spectator as being the bully.

Bullying is usually done by people who have more influence or power over someone else, or who want to make someone else feel less powerful or helpless. The reasons could be many. Those who bully persistently are likely to do so in order to dominate others and improve their social status. They may have high self esteem, show little remorse for their behaviour and not see bullying as being morally wrong( or as I’d like to put it best, MORALLY BANKRUPT). Other people may bully out of anger or frustration as they may be struggling socially or could have also been victims of bullying in the past. People get picked on for their dressing sense, physical appearance, sexual orientation; the list can be however long as the bullies want it to be.

And I am sick and tired of people pretending that it doesn’t happen. It does; everywhere. And contrary to what many people think, the victims don’t grow out of it. Many of them don’t even give themselves the chance. Why resort to something that drastic, you ask? Well what would you do if you were made to feel guilty about something that you can’t change about yourself (say you’re dyslexia problem, or the fact that you’re gay etc)? What would you do if you’re friends and family have abandoned you for no fault of your own and you’re forced to endure this humiliation alone? How would you feel if the very thought of walking to school or your workplace or even to the next street made you feel unsafe and afraid? This is what victims of bullying go through, every damn day!

This is probably how Jamey Rodemeyer, the 14 year old victim of anti-gay bullying ,  or Mitchell Wilson, the 11 year old Canadian disabled boy, or Tyler Clementi, former Rutgers University student would have felt like before taking their lives. If you don’t know who these kids are, I request you to please Google them. And the list of suicides due to bullying goes beyond these three. And that is a very scary thought!

Want to help?

There are a gazillion ways in which you can. Spread as much awareness as you can by either talking about it amongst your friends, your social circle or at open forums. Spread awareness using the most powerful tool of recent times, the Internet (Facebook, twitter, blogs etc). Do you know someone who is being bullied? Talk to them. Be their friend. Be that one person they can talk to and help them. Help them get the necessary help from the authorities.

Are you in the media? Try to address the issue on your next T.V show or Radio Show. Do every bit you can to save someone’s life; especially when you know you can.

A Personal message to victims:

Although I can never fully comprehend what you may be going through, I do know it sucks. I’ve been picked on myself. After I came to India, for the first few years I was picked on for having a “firangi” (Amercian) accent. I was never ashamed of it, so I haven’t tried to change it. They got the hint and quit it. I know that it may seem trivial but when every other person you come across starts passing comments on your accent, it does get very annoying. But like I said, I never tried to change to please anybody. And you don’t have to if you don’t want to either. A lot of you may think that it won’t get better, but it will. You just have to hang in there. The phrase time heals all wounds is in fact true. Maybe someday you’d be able to help some other kid who’s going through the exact same thing you experienced. But for that you need to be ALIVE!!

Oh and to the Bullies (especially those irritating Cyber-bullies with really bad English)

Talk is cheap. So if you have nothing nice to say, just Shut The Hell Up!!!

As always feel free to let me know your opinions. Just make sure they don’t come out of your ass LOL

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Making a New Day out of Thursday

Hello people,

Matthew here. How’s the first day of a new month treating you? Good, I hope.

You know, sometimes you come across those days where all you want to do is just get out of your house and roam around the city, just for the heck of it. Know what I mean? Well today was just that for me. And the weather outside complimented my plans perfectly. Okay it was 16 degrees but I loved it.

I woke up late this morning, because it was my day off from the gym, and made myself some delicious Ambrosia salad. I know it’s not the healthiest way to start the day but like I said today’s my day to indulge. I wasted the rest of the morning in front of my laptop, watching videos on YouTube, reading BBC news online and catching up with a few friends on Twitter. Around noon time my sister suggested that we go have Mexican for lunch (Yay!). So around 1 o clock we headed out to Mad Mex in Melbourne Central, to have some amazing Mexican food. We both go crazy over Mexican. I ordered the usual, Chicken Quesadilla (I LOVE their quesadilla’s) and my sis ordered Naked Burrito, which is yum too. We both finished eating rather quickly (cas we were super hungry) but we stayed at the food court for almost an hour chatting about ‘I can’t even remember what’.

My sis wanted to do a little clothes shopping after, so we hit a couple of stores but she ended up buying very little. No surprises there! Oh and one of the store ladies thought I was my sister’s boyfriend!! How do you react to that? LOL. After roaming around for a while, we decided to head home, but midway we changed our minds and went loafing in Exhibition St instead. I had been to a resto-pub here last night with a couple of friends. What a fun night it was! For some reason, at night, with all the stores and restaurants lit up, Exhibition St seems to me, an amalgamation between Paris and Broadway in NYC. Now that’s a beautiful combination in my opinion. Walking aimlessly, we reached a strikingly beautiful building surrounded by an even beautiful garden. Initially, we had no clue what building it was, but later we learnt that it was Exhibition Building. This building played host venue to many exhibitions held in the city since the year 1880. The garden is named Carlton Gardens. We decided to take a stroll in the garden. There were quite a few people even at this hour (say around 3:30pm-ish) either huddled on the benches or getting their daily dose of exercise by jogging and such. But what I found really interesting was the cute pond in a corner, filled with a lot of rather playful ducks. This reminded me of Central Park in Manhattan! I tell you; the similarity between Melbourne City and New York City is just uncanny.

It started to get chilly by now, so we decided to head back home. We walked through new routes taking in the beautiful sights the city had to offer. On our way, we stopped at a popular cafe called Pie Face.  I had a pecan pie while my sister settled for a mango smoothie. I sat across the glass window over-looking the road which was bustling with activity. Of course the noise was cut-off, which was a relief. Munching on my delicious pecan pie, I thought to myself that this would be the ideal place for me to come with my laptop, grab a cuppa and write my blog.  Before leaving, I ordered a Regular Chai Latte for the road.

After almost a 20 minute walk we reached home and I immediately sat down to type out ‘Making a New Day out of Thursday’.

I’m sure the day would’ve been a lot less interesting had I decided to stay home instead. So people, the next time you have the itch to go out loafing, I say, GET OUT!

Till my next post,

Cheers and have a great night ahead!