Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Making Sense of The Jonah Phenomena

Well, this has certainly been a phenomenal past few days.  First came the "cry for help" that pulled the heartstrings of nearly 6,000,000 viewers (and, counting) worldwide; then came the "thank you" video; then came another "thank you" video that led people to start the rumor mill questioning the validity of the first video.  Really?  There are haters, and then there are idiots.  The raw emotion of that first video can not be faked even by the best of actors.  

On facebook, there are currently over 130 Jonah Mowry support groups!  The membership ranges from 1 member (quite a few of those) to over 35,000.

Anyway, you're getting the point.  The groundswell of support has been overwhelming, even for Jonah and his family.  His mother released a letter basically pleading to the masses to remove her teen-aged son's name from all of these "support" pages.  After all, as I've pointed out before, Jonah is but one person who's had to endure this.  It's something I've been trying to draw attention to most of my adult life.  Jonah courageously put a face on the issue, and we're all grateful for it; however, this struggle didn't begin with Jonah, and it certainly won't end with him.  As we've collectively rushed to his aid, offering our support and words of encouragement, rest assured that there were far too many more, during that same time period, who didn't get the publicity that Jonah received.  And, out of that group, there's no doubt that we lost a few who just couldn't take it any more.  

What this all means is that while Jonah's video has brought the world's attention to the issue of teen bullying, and the intolerance and hatred that fuels it, we need to seize the moment.  This is the moment we can really make an impact!  If we can convert even half of the "Jonah supporters" to supporters to the larger issue, the one that affects millions of "Jonahs" worldwide EVERYDAY, then the video truly was a smashing success!  

As for the bullying Jonah spoke of, the bullying that is claiming the lives of too many of your children, a stronger more determined and focused effort needs to be made if we're to change this.  Report any and all bullying that you encounter.  Encourage others to do the same.  Keep the link so that you can share it with others.  That's a good place to start.  Oh, and be kind...to someone you DON'T know.