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On bullying and being different – Shane Koyczan’s spoken-word poetry

October 29, 2013

“Sticks and stones will break my bones but names will never hurt me”
Or do they?

Watch this 12 minute TED talk where Canadian poet Shane Koyczan puts his finger on the pulse of what it’s like to be young and different. It contains snippets of the animation “To This Day,” with his spoken-word poem (which was created, crowd-source style, by 80 animators).

This and his 7 minute video “To This Day,” got me thinking about how to deal with bullying for the child being bullied or for other children who might witness the bullying. This inspired me to start looking at making a video on this theme on ways to help the the kids – so they might have ways of responding at the moment the bullying happens. As a child running to a teacher or any adult was not a possibility for me. But if another kid had sung “bully bully what’s your beef” it would have made all the difference.
I love his film “To This Day” which raises awareness about the deep suffering caused by bullying. I am so grateful that I managed to overcome the years of depressions and low self-esteem caused by the bullying and beatings I experienced as a child. But I am thinking in terms of a tactical approach. What fun things could kids have as a form of antidote? – games, sayings, etc to combat prejudice and to make it known – also because so often kids (and adults) say things not realizing the prejudice in words that seem familiar to them. Even words such as “spiritually diseased” is name calling or scapegoating when it is used to push people away or to justify discrimination. If we have a counter argument or sayings, it raises awareness. So please share any catchy phrases or ideas you might have.

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