Thursday, October 20, 2011

i laughed the loudest who'd have known

something's been troubling me and i don't really know why. last Friday my City Councillor's 15 year old son committed suicide. you may have seen it in the news. his name was Jamie Hubley. he was openly gay and he was bullied which his father has acknowledged was a contributing factor in his death.

i mean on the surface of course it would bother anyone, no one likes to hear someone has died especially under tragic circumstances. i also think i'm bothered because i witnessed a young woman's life get snuffed out in her prime that someone would take their own life, it also just seems like such a tragic waste.

it also breaks my heart that his family seemingly did everything "right" and it still fell short (through no fault of theirs).

it also makes me think back to my school days. i definitely remember picking on a couple kids on the bus, not just me a few of us. i don't even remember about what. i also remember being picked on by older kids on occasion. i pretty much hated getting on the bus everyday because of this one dude but i wasn't the only one taunted.

i guess it's got me thinking at one point does taunting become bullying or is there no distinction? how much of it is kids will be kids? or can we really change human behaviour? i try very hard to instill in my kids, especially N who's older that it's ok not to like everyone, that you won't necessarily get along but it's never ok to be mean you just don't need to hang out. i mean he's only 5 so i haven't gotten that deeply into it.

then there's the whole gay thing. i'm not saying that in a trivial manner, but that it clearly adds a whole other dimension. i can't recall anyone during my high-school career being openly gay (though two that i'm aware of have since come out). given our particular school culture and the time period i imagine it would have been a pretty hostile environment.

i also think that it's beyond discouraging that despite all of the public service announcements, awareness campaigns, parenting books, tv shows etc. etc. etc. it doesn't seem to be getting better. the world in general, despite all of our so called "progress" is really in a pretty sad steady state of decline.

i will also say that though i fully acknowledge that faith is not a cure-all, i would not be on anti-depressants if i thought that, but i truly believe that faith (for me, in Christ) is what's missing in so many peoples lives. I think God in general is missing from too many people's lives. clearly we are not doing a very good job on our own and when the world fails you what else do you have?

Jamie, i hope that something positive comes out of your death and your family's unspeakable loss.

1 comment:

  1. Oh the bus ride. Site of so much bullying. I was bullied myself in late grade school, not that I would have recognized it at the time as such. Or ever told anyone. But that's what it was. It changed in high school, thankfully, for me.
    I remember intervening on said bus to prevent the giving of wedgies to certain individuals. I am thankful that I had the "power" to do that because of the "status" I had at the time. But I often wondered if my intervention made things better or worse.
    I knew one brave individual in high school who came out to me as gay, though perhaps not widely to the whole school. Since then, and especially now living in the 'hood I do, I am continually saddened by the difficulties, those who are "different" in some way, face in our supposedly tolerant society.
    Faith can be a positive, powerful force in an individual's life. To help them cope with what life throws at them and give them grounding and guidance through life. But when it divides and reinforces the sense of otherness, to me it is no longer positive. That is what I struggle with.