The World Championships of Performing Arts:
- Changes the way Performing Artists think about bullying
- Offers a safe environment for Performing Artists to express their talent
- Offers Performing Artists a community of support
Bullying: Changing the Conversation
Bullying is a huge problem among performing artist youth today. Young people are going as far as committing suicide to stop the bullying. If only these desperate, young performing artists understood more about the bully, maybe this would change their perspective.
Bullies are insecure people who most likely were bullied themselves. They are unhappy and want others to feel their pain. It is hard sometimes to realize the bully is the person with an emotional problem. What if our schools taught that bullies are really insecure and need help? What if this was expressed through the media? What if we expected people to report bullying to authorities so the bully could receive help or treatment? If we changed the way bullies are viewed we could change the bully.
As it is, we view the bully as the person of strength with the ability to power over the weak. What if we viewed the bully as the weak person who needs help? What if we viewed bullies as being emotionally weak? How would our conversations change, if everyone caught bullying was required to see a counselor for anger management before they could return to school? What if parents of a bully were required to have a home evaluation by social services? What kind of impact would this have on bullying?
We may never know the answers to many of these questions, but what is attainable is to change the way we talk about bullying. It is important to impress upon Performing Artists — who are working hard towards reaching their goals — that there are always going to be jealous people who are intimidated by their talent and want to belittle or bully them. When this happens, they need to stop and think about the mental health of the individual bullying them. They need to realize the bully is weak, not strong. If they are threatening harm, it must be reported immediately. If the situation is not reported, the next confrontation will most likely escalate because the bully is looking for a reaction.
Do not fight a bully. Make the proper arrangements not to be confronted by the bully again. But most of all, do not allow the bully to affect the way you think about yourself. The bully has the problem, not you. Do not allow bullies to play on your own insecurities. Insecurities are the reason bullies are effective. Bullies know this is your weakness because of their own insecurities. When you report a bully, try saying, "I think _____has a problem that they are hiding. It's causing them to be angry, and they are bullying others because they are so angry."
It is impossible to change other people. But we can change how we view others, which allows them to have less impact. The World Championships of Performing Arts is a NO BULLY ZONE. We work hard to offer a safe place for talent to express themselves and gain the support of others. Once a year, talent come from around the World to perform in an environment where they are befriended, educated and encouraged by their peers. It is amazing how much strength is gained when you are surrounded by people who have overcome the same obstacles you face and have persevered, because they have a support system of people waiting to see them again next year!