Bullying is a problem, let’s face it. It happens in schools, playgrounds, and yes even to a degree at workplaces, but we all know that.

I think probably many of us were picked on a bit in our youth, but at least for me it was really nothing compared to what kids, teens and some adults have to endure today. To be honest, I saw it happen to others and didn’t have the courage to stand up and do anything about it. Now before you get all upset at me, we’re talking 30 years ago. This was back in the era of take care of the problem and fighting back. We can sit here and split hairs and call some of what happens building character, ribbing or lesson teaching but some people aren’t built to withstand the pressure and the words or actions go over the line.

Times are different today. It used to be you left school at 3 pm and you had 18 hours to cool off and get over the intimidation. But now, it really is 24/7 because of the taunting on social media.

You don’t know what a child is thinking as they’re being picked on. If they retaliate, it’s called, “being a spaz” if the one hurt does nothing everyone says “don’t take that from her/him.”

The saddest thing, I know of two suicides over the past few years due to what was said to be from bullying and one of these children were in middle school. This isn’t a joke.

The only advice I can give if you’re being bullied is own who you are and talk to a friend, parent or someone you trust.

Nobody is perfect and everyone has weaknesses. If you are the one who is picking on someone, when you’re older you’ll look back at terrorizing someone and you’ll feel guilty. I really hope Joe Dixon, a classmate who was bullied, is leading a happy life, and I'm sorry that wasn't brave enough to stand up and tell others to stop it.

Yes, most people who have been bullied do survive and live productive and seemingly happy lives. But the memories live within and can wire someone to believe all of the garbage that was thrown at them in their youth is true and can hold them back from fulfilling their dreams. Some might hear that haunting voice in their head before applying for a job later in life, "you're stupid, you can't do that" for example.

I don't know if they still teach this, but remind yourself of the IALAC code, "I am likable and capable"

The inspiration for this post is a powerful video that my friend Jennifer's daughter, Hannah put together about the pains of bullying.