26 June 2013

A STROLL WITH AIDAN McDANIEL (For United Nations International Day In Support Of Victims Of Torture)

“When people don’t like themselves very much, they have to make up for it. The classic bully was actually a victim first”   ~TomHiddleston

Image Credit: Aidan Mcdaniel

Hey guys, welcome to the stroll, my name is Ebenezar. Today’s episode of the stroll is for the United Nations International Day against Victims of Torture, and one dominant form of torture today is bullying.

At one point or the other in our lives, our heartbeat has doubled its pace because of the thoughts of that big gruesome fellow that will confront you to take your lunch money, salary or make fun of you. J My guest on the stroll today was a guest on one of my favourite TV shows—Al Jazeera’s The Stream—early last month, and he was on the show to discuss cyber bullying with other guests that day.

He’s an American teen anti-bullying activist that has dedicated his time and resources to fighting bullying and harassment wherever he finds it. I had a stroll with Aidan and this is what we discussed;

Ebenezar: Thank you so much for speaking with me Aidan.

Aidan: Thank you for having me.

Ebenezar: Which do you think is worse; real bullying or cyber bullying?

Aidan:  I firmly believe that neither cyber bullying or "real" bullying is worse than the other. It's an unfortunate misconception that our interactions as human beings are more or less affected by the medium they come through, but that is not the case. Cyber bullying and face-to-face bullying have their differences, but one cannot be labeled as worse than the other. Bullying is bullying, regardless of where it happens.
Image Credit: gloucestershire
Ebenezar: What inspired you to be an anti-bullying activist; is it based on past experiences you've had with bullies?

Aidan:  I have felt my whole life that I have a responsibility to help as many people as possible. I, just like nearly everyone else, have had an experience with bullying in my life. However, even if I hadn't, I would still have been inspired to anti-bullying activism, because I truly feel it is a beautiful and noble cause.

Ebenezar: Do you think parents have a role to play in solving this bullying problem?

Aidan:  Absolutely parents have a role. Bullying is an issue that effects everyone; it is not a age-based issue, it is a human based one. All of us have a role to play in the pursuit of a better world, and it requires us all working together as equals to make any real progress.

Image Credit: gurl.com
Ebenezar: If you had the chance to speak with a teenager or child who is planning to commit suicide because he/she is being bullied, what will you tell that child?

Aidan: I would try to help that person recognize all of the people in their life that love and care about them, and endeavor to establish a supportive and loving environment that is not conducive to bullying in the first place. A positve and accepting culture helps individuals to feel safer and happier, while also making bullying an obsolete, non-norm for that society.  

Ebenezar: Thank you so much once again for your time bro, you’re fighting a great cause.

Aidan: Thank you bro, the pleasure was mine

For more about Aidan, hook up with him on twitter @AidanAshland

Re-echoing the words of Tim, “. . . The classic bully is a victim first. . .” , I think it’s more like a psychological problem. We need to also see how we can rehabilitate these bullies and give orientation to these young ones coming up.

If you have a problem with your emotions, find a way to handle them or better still confide in a friend that can help. Don’t go about spilling your aggression on any one.

Till my next STROLL, Be good. . . Jesus Loves You.

By: Ebenezar Wikina (@poeticjazz)

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