Friday, June 22, 2012

Ask Elnora--About mean people??? Lenora Worth

Hello, beautiful people. Elnora is a bit perturbed today. I'm sure you all saw the news stories regarding the You Tube video that showed children on a school bus bullying an older lady named Karen who was the bus monitor person. This was painful to watch but this happens a lot all over the world. While bullying has been around since God created the earth, we now have access to such things all the time, thanks to modern technology. We see a lot of things that we probably aren't supposed to see so sometimes it feels as if there is a big eye onto the world. But some of the things we aren't supposed to see are the very things we need to see. Bullying a grandma ranks right up there with stepping on Santa's toes and kicking the Easter bunny. We shouldn't do that. That got Elnora to thinking about our stories. In our stories, our characters fight the good fight--against injustice, crime, wrongs that need to be right and yes, bullies. In our LIS books, we allow our characters to fight the bad guys who try to run the world through intimidation and threats. We show heroes who really are just good people trying to make their way in life. We show strong women who learn to defend themselves and the ones they love. (I recently read Margaret Daley's "Shattered Justice". Her heroine was such a woman. She stood up to bullies.)Even Scarlett in "Gone With the Wind" was willing to fight to protect her family from mean people. I'm sure we've all read books that make us cheer for the heroine and applaud the hero. It's kind of like "Dirty Harry" without being so dirty. Readers love strong characters who portray values and justice and doing what's right. We even try to give our villains some redeeming qualities, and while our characters shouldn't be perfect and squeaky clean, they always have a soul and a good heart. In the end, they try to make decisions that are thoughtful and redemptive. We don't demand super-heroes. We only need characters who want to make the world a better place. Why can't real life be so simple? When a father cries after hearing his son call an older woman names and taunt her, we know something has gone wrong in the world. This made me think--that must be how God feels when he sees one of His children being cruel to another human being. In a world where such things happen, it's a comfort to know our stories do make a difference. We can help people to heal with our words. We can show women that yes, they can be strong. We all have a choice in life. We can fight the good fight and be kind to others instead of being mean and cruel. I'm glad I have the ability to write books that show that choice over and over. So ... let's discuss--what can we do to overcome bullies in this world? It's a serious subject, but we can discuss it with our hearts open to the possibilities. Now, Elnora moves on to a more fun topic. We are having a mystery party with several of our writers involved. The fun starts Sunday, June 25th but I'm going to give you the link today. It's not active yet but will go live late Sunday night. I hope you enjoy traveling the web to find all of the clues. You'll make some interesting discoveries along the way, too: Link to Love Inspired Suspense Mystery Beach Party: http://community.harlequin.com/showthread.php/336-Love-Inspired-Suspense-Mystery-Beach-Party

9 comments:

Ausjenny said...

Bullying is something that is very hard to get over when you are a constant target. My second last year at high school was a living (you know what) I was sexually harrassed most of the year by a few of the boys in the class. it got to the point that they would come past the house and through rocks, follow me if they saw me in the street, and make prank phone calls. Its only in the last year or so I can be in the same shop where the main cauplit is. I know he was sorry later but he never said it to me and I still have scars from it. When I was on a trip I met a nice guy but for him to put his arm around me sent me in a panic. we started with holding hand and then slowly I could handle it. Even today if someone comes and touches me from behind I tend to go defensive and start to strike out.

What those kids did to that lady was cruel. I have heard the father whos boy was one of them has been receiving death threats. I am sure his son will the told its not acceptable and I hope he listens. I wonder why didn't someone else stand up to these kids. it was 20 mins and someone filmed it. Why didn't the bus driver stop and threaten to put the kids of the bus. Also why were they not restrained on there seat. Here school buses now have to have seat belts and be used. or if its an older bus students still have to be seated. If not the bus wont move till they are.

Missy Tippens said...

Lenora, I've been in a fog finishing a book (mailed Wednesday!) so I hadn't heard about the video. How terrible!!

Jenny, I'm sorry about your experience in high school. There are a lot more rules in place today to help prevent and stop bullying. But I know it goes on all the time. It hurts me to hear the stories.

Lenora, I think what you said is true. We have to take a risk and stand up for people, stand up for what's right. God can give us (and our kids and grandkids) the strength to do that.

Lenora said...

AusJenny, I'm so sorry for what you had to go through. I remember sometimes being teased and bullied in school. It's not fun at all. At least now more and more people are becoming aware and standing up against this kind of treatment.

Oh, and my apologies to Margaret Daley. The name of her book is "Shattered Silence". But there is a lot of justice in her story, for sure!

I came across a verse of Scripture this morning that sums this up: Philippians 4:8--"Whatever is true, whatever is noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, or excellent or praiseworthy--think of such things."

I pray we all remember this verse and that people who belittle others will know that God loves them, too.

Allie Pleiter said...

I think some of it stems from the fact that we live in a world where the fallout for stepping in has become dangerous. That's not a good thing. We need to challenge ourselves and our children to step in when we see something like this happening.

OLUFISAYO ALABI said...

Bullying. It has been taken to the extreme in my country. To now leave home and go to church in some parts of Nigeria has become a prayer point in itself.

Imagine! The boko haram sect bombed 3 churches this last sunday, while people were in service! All because they are muslims and are fighting against white man's education.

May God save us all.

Sorry for changing the thought-flow. Only I believe unchecked bullying has led to this. Not so?

Tracy S said...

Jenny, I'm sorry for what you had to go through and the scars that remain.

There are two things about this bullying the bus monitor story that I have been thinking on (besides the obvious that it is awful).

1. A lot of comments I have read blame the parents and the way the kids were raised. Do people really not realize that you can raise your kids to be a certain way (nice, respectful) but yet they have this pesky thing called "free will" that makes them make their own decisions?? I guess as a parent, it bothers me that everything my children choose to do from now to eternity is somehow my fault in the eyes of the world. Kind of how God gets judged based on our behavior I guess.

2. The kids and parents are getting death threats. Irony anyone?! No one sees that doing that to them is the same as the kids bullying the bus monitor? I mentioned that on a Facebook thread and some responses were that they did not feel sorry for the kids--it's karma. ??!! So, it's only okay to bully a bully? *sigh* These are 12-14 year old boys-they are still impulsive and do stupid things at this age: teach them, don't threaten them.

Sorry, I will get down off my soapbox now LOL Just some thoughts that have been bouncing around in my brain these past few days. Unfortunately, you asked so you got to hear them. :)

Lenora said...

I think we all are on a soapbox about such things. From verbal attacks to church destruction, cruelty is a tragedy. Hatred is a tragedy. We can all comments to make things better but when we wish bad on another person, yes, we become the bully. Elnora is on her soapbox, too. This is not an easy subject, that's for sure.

Debby Giusti said...

Lenora,
Thought provoking post. The world is filled with pain, but we can right wrongs in our stories and show God's love and mercy. Also His wonderful forgiveness. Hopefully, that message resonates with readers.

Sending hugs to Ausjenny. I'm so sorry for what you had to endure.

Olufisayo, religion is under attack in so many places these days. We're seeing it in the USA. As Christians, we need to stand strong in our beliefs.

I saw the movie, The Greatest Glory, a few weeks ago. It begs the question: How important is your faith and what would you do to ensure you could openly practice your faith?

Lenora said...

I agree, Debby. Great response. And a thought provoking question. One more reason to cling to God's grace.