A Story on Cyberbullying for Kids of 10 – 13 years

A story on Cyber bullying for 10-13 years

Lucy and the Laptop

Lucy and her mum stare at the computer and read the unkind words

Under the beautifully decorated tree lay an intriguing package.  Lucy thought it might just be what she had been hoping and praying for.  It was one of the last presents to be opened.  In Lucy’s family Christmas was ruled by several traditions, one was that everyone had to take it in turns to open presents and the smallest ones were handed out first.  Lucy waited until the very last present came to be handed out.  It was for her.  Could it be…? Yes it was, her very own laptop computer!  Wow!  Now she would be able to chat to her friends on Facebook and Bebo and send emails to her cousins in Australia.  Lucy was in a daze thinking about all the things she could do on her new computer.

Lucy’s parents were not very interested in computers themselves, so Lucy’s cousin Jack set it up for her.  He put the antivirus software onto it and checked that her programmes were all ready for use.

After Christmas dinner Lucy took the laptop to her room.  The others were all either dozing in front of the TV or playing with their new toys.  Lucy was the eldest child in her family and her parents were careful to give her some space and time for herself as it would have been too easy to keep asking her to look after the baby or the twins who were four years her junior.

Lucy made herself a Facebook page and wondered which of her class mates she could ‘speak to’.  Her two best friends were not on Facebook.  Lucy suddenly realised that although she had wanted very much to be able to go online to contact friends, the people who talked about it most were not exactly her friends.  They were a group of girls in her class who always talked very loudly and who wore their school uniforms in ways which made them look as if they were not uniforms at all.  Their clothes were shorter and tighter than other girl’s clothes.  Lucy’s mother had said they were common girls and that Lucy should stay away from them.

Tap tap tap, Lucy typed the name of the loudest, commonest girl onto the keyboard. Ping.  There she was on the screen, looking five years older than her twelve years, fully made up and pouting for the camera.  Lucy looked at the messages on her ‘wall’.  They were about parties and barbeques on the beach that she and her friends had been to.  Lucy’s heart yearned to become part of that exciting life.

She wanted to go to parties and to the beach with friends.  She had a mad impulse to contact this girl Trina, just to say ‘Hello’.  Who knows, maybe she would get invited out to some of those amazing events.  Lucy wrote her short message and clicked the send button.  Nothing happened and she soon got tired of staring at the empty screen and went to join her family.  Later that evening there was a note from Trina:  ‘Get u Lucy Boots, lookin 4 sum fun r u?’

Lucy shut her computer.  She wasn’t sure what to think what to think.  She was not sure whether to reply as she didn’t think it was a friendly message.

The next day there were three messages from boys who were asking if they could be her friends.  Lucy knew their names.  Two of them were in the year above Lucy at school and one she wasn’t sure if she knew,  but  his photo was nice, he looked very ‘cool’.  Lucy agreed to befriend the boys.  She began to spend quite a lot of time on her computer looking at pop groups and listening to music.  Every day there would be messages from the boys.  Sometimes they made her laugh and sometimes she didn’t understand them.  It was as if they were speaking a different language.  Her English teacher would never have approved of their writing.  If a word could be shortened they would shorten it so that sometimes their messages seemed like nonsense.  However Lucy loved to think that there was someone out there in the world who thought that she was worth ‘talking to’.

When school started back after Christmas Lucy thought the boys would speak to her in the corridors, but it was as if she didn’t exist outside the computer.  They all ignored her completely; so did Trina.  Lucy felt upset.  She decided to ask the very cool looking boy, Jason, why he would not speak to her in school.  She posed the question on Facebook.  Although she had only sent the message to him all three boys replied.

‘We don’t like you Loose Lucy.  We don’t want to speak to you.  You are a robot.’

Lucy felt dreadful.  How could anyone be so unkind and for no reason?  How could she face their icy stares in school?  Why would anyone do such a thing?

Lucy’s mother noticed that she was looking pale and worried and asked her what was the problem.

‘Nothing, Mum, I’m OK.’

‘You are spending too much time on that computer, Lucy,’ said her dad.  ‘It’s not healthy.  Here look at this article I found in the newspaper today.’

‘CYBER-BULLYING IN SCHOOLS’ said the headline.

Lucy went pale, tears welled up in her eyes, and then the story came out.

‘I had no idea about this sort of thing,’ said Lucy’s Mum.

Lucy and her mum stare at the computer and read the unkind words

Lucy and her mum read the stupid unkind words

‘What a nasty crew, ‘said Lucy’s dad.  ‘People like that are best ignored.  They are worth nothing to you.  People who get pleasure out of being unkind to others will soon find they have no friends at all.  You wouldn’t want them as friends in real life, Lucy, so just leave them be.  Hold your head up.  You have done nothing wrong.  Just forget about them.  I’ll have a word with the head teacher just to say this has happened.  I won’t ask him to say anything to those boys, but to the whole school.  You tell me if they try to upset you again.  Meanwhile give that Facebook a miss, or check your settings so that only real friends can contact you.

Questions

Have you experienced either receiving hurtful messages or even sending them? What effect did those messages have? 

Did you know there are good useful explanations about what to do about cyberbullying online?

The three simple things you can do are:  STOP.  BLOCK  and  TELL

Amygdala’s Journey – A Story about seeing the world as a reflection of yourself ( from teens to adult)

Seeing the world as a reflection of yourself, (a story requested by Dinesh, a reader)  A recent trend in Spirituality.

Amygdala’s journey

There was once a child called Amygdala. Her beautiful flaxen hair flowed around her head. Her family thought she must be the loveliest creature ever to have been born. They brought her up to expect everything to be perfect in her world. The family was wealthy. Nothing was beyond their reach. The child had clothes and later jewels fit for a princess. Her room was furnished in silks and beautifully carved golden furniture. Large goldfish swam in her pond in the extensive gardens. Roses bloomed from early spring until late autumn and in winter even the snow and icicles took on a perfect appearance.
Amygdala however was not satisfied. Something was missing in her life.
“Father, I cannot be happy here anymore. I must go out into the world and find what it is that I need.”
“But my dear, you have everything you could need. You have a loving family and a beautiful home. You are well=educated, you speak many languages. You have learnt all about history and geography from your tutors. Your life is as complete and well=rounded as it could possibly be for a young woman of your age.”
“Father I know that what you say is true in many ways, however something is missing and I don’t know what it is. I must go out into the world and truly experience these things, people and places that I have learnt about. I know I have more to learn but I do not know what it will be.”
“Very well my child, you may go, but not alone. Your brother Arturo will go with you. He will protect you while you discover something of the world. It can be a dangerous place but Arturo is an accomplished swordsman and will stay by your side.”
Amygdala and Arturo set off on their horses and after a day of travelling they sought somewhere to rest. They knocked at the door of an old cottage at the edge of the forest. An old man bent double with age opened the door. He offered them his room for the night. Arturo slept on a rug on the floor and his sister slept in the narrow cot. She was so tired that sleep came fast. She dreamt that she was in a beautiful palace and that the old man was king. When she awoke she was surprised to find herself in the little cot. The old man gave them a simple meal and sent them on their way. Kindness shone from his eyes. As the days passed Amygdala and Arturo stayed in many different places. All were kind and welcoming to them. Some were curious and asked the pair why they were travelling as they clearly had no idea about where they were going.
“We want to see something more of the world,” was Amygdala’s reply.
“And what do you think about what you have seen?” they would ask.
“I see kindness and beauty wherever we go,” she would say.
One day they crossed a wide river. On the other side people were walking with crutches, poor people, starving people. These people were not offering help, they were asking for it. There was suffering in their faces.
“Arturo, we cannot just walk by and leave these people to suffer. We must try to help them.”
Amygdala and Arturo discovered that these people had been fighting with their neighbouring village. A feud had been going on for many years.
“But why can you not come to an agreement?” asked Amygdala. To have shed so much blood and to suffer so on both sides! I cannot understand you.”
“The world is a hard and cruel place and full of suffering,” said one of the limbless men. “Our neighbours are full of hatred, we cannot agree on peace with them.”
Amygdala and Arturo travelled on. Shortly they came to the next village. The fields were laid bare. Houses and barns had been burnt down. Limbless men walked on crutches. Arturo stopped by the roadside. A child approached him.
“Sir,” he said, “please help us. We have nothing, we are hungry.”
A woman, the child’s mother appeared. She introduced herself as the widow of the headman of the village.
“Why has all this devastation taken place?” asked Amygdala
“My husband was very brave. He fought our neighbours for years, but finally they killed him and burnt our land. It is a cruel world we live in.”
“What could you do to make peace with your neighbours, surely that would be the answer?” asked Amygdala.
“They are a wicked and cruel people. We can never make peace with them.”
Realising that they could not be of any help Amygdala and Arturo crossed back over the river and began their homeward journey. Amygdala felt she had seen enough of the world to help her understand a little more about life.
“It seems to me Arturo that people get what they expect from the world. I expect love kindness and beauty and indeed that is what I find, even outside the confines of my home. Those warring people expect hatred and suffering and that is what they get. They cannot seem to break free of it because they cannot imagine that life is possible without it. They are not willing to make the first move. They know nothing else.”
Amygdala returned to her father’s home and reported her findings.
“Ah, my child, you have discovered a Great Truth: As on the inside, so it is on the outside. May Love Peace and Harmony fill us and be with us all the days of our lives.

The story ends. Teresa the writer or channel is pondering the meaning of it. She sends it to Dinesh as requested. Dinesh immediately understands what the story is saying. The following is his interpretation, thank you Dinesh:

The story is perfect… This theme has been something that keeps returning to my mind, and I’ve been contemplating it for some time now…

What resonated with me :
The princess sees and encounters only happy, helpful people when she herself is filled with happiness and peace….

When she encounters the two villages, she herself does not feel any animosity or anger towards the people in the villages, she remains as an unaffected non-judging observer and so what she is seeing is not a reflection of her own self….

However the villagers themselves are limbless and scarred with suffering, because of how they perceive the other villagers… Similarly the other village suffers because they too feel the same about the neighboring village.

Thanks for the wonderful story, Teresa… Love it.

Om Sai Ram
Dinesh