Wednesday, October 29, 2014

October is National Bullying Prevention Month

We all know that bullying comes in many different forms. When I first said "bullying," I bet you thought of a scrawny kid in upper grade school or middle school who gets picked on by the one who has been lucky enough to hit his growth spurt before his intellectual spurt (if he is ever endowed with one).

But there are so many more ways. Pretty much any walk of life would do well to ponder on their own situations, and if they have power in any form that they might be tempted to wield over another: a mother over her children, children over their parents, a spouse over another, a caregiver over an elderly person, the elderly over their caregiver, even a missionary over their companion. Sometimes the same people even bully each other. Sometimes they are friends.

Currently on the shelf at the BYU Store in Provo, UT.
My latest novel, Still Time, is women's fiction with a medical twist. There's a little of a lot of different family issues touched on in the novel, everything from Alzheimer's to troubled young adults. In writing about these family situations, I also included some examples of these various kinds of bullying (however slight they are in the book). I didn't want the book to scream "I'm teaching a lesson about bullying!" (which of course could be construed as bullying itself), but rather wanted to make the reader contemplate their own situations and make a renewed effort to treat everyone with respect and love, sacrifice and forgiveness.

What about you? What are some less-thought-of kinds of bullying that come to mind for you?