Bullying is an extremely common form of violence. It starts at a very young age and it occurs in daycare centers, on and off school grounds and college campuses, at social and sporting events. This is a worldwide problem, but in the US alone, 2.1 million school children in grades K-12 are bullies, and 2.7 million are victims of bullying. Bullying is linked to 75% of all school shooting incidents and young people suffering from bullying are up to 9 times more likely to contemplate or commit suicide.
We bless the children and teens who are being bullied by their peers, in their peace, their serenity, their strength, and their courage.
We bless them in their understanding of their divine nature as children of the universe entitled to love and respect. We bless them in their recognition that whatever insults and injuries are hurled at them, they are always surrounded by a loving Presence that will guide and protect them and never abandon them.
We bless them in their wisdom to seek help when facing hatred and intolerance from their peers. We bless them in their refusal to accept labels that would demean and humiliate them. We bless them in their courage to resist the temptation to retaliate, feel victimized, or even consider taking their own lives when pressures get too hard.
We bless the witnesses of bullying, no matter what their ages, in their refusal to condone, participate in, or encourage any bullying. We bless them in their ability to take intelligent steps to stop any abusive conduct, and above all we bless them in their capacity to see the goodness in themselves, the victims, and the perpetrators.
And finally we bless also the ones who bully that their innate goodness as children of God, hidden behind a mask of fear or aggression, will guide their thoughts and actions.