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Quotable RA: Stop Bullying. Period.

I am sure I don’t need to recount the news of the week, we all know.  Another young man entered his school with a gun and shot some of his classmates.  Once again we hear cries that bullying has led to violence.  Also in the news, Lady Gaga started a foundation and challenged teens everywhere to stand up to bullies.  The Born This Way Foundation has a great slogan: Empowering Youth, Inspiring Bravery.  Whatever one may think of Lady Gaga, her style or her music, it seems hard to argue with her mission of empowering youth and trying to save lives.  She is not alone in her mission, every day there are writers writing stories about bullying to send the message: Bullying must end. Period. It has consequences. Sticks and stones may break my bones, but the childhood rhyme is wrong – names do hurt.  Long after bruises fade the pain of bullying lingers.

I like to collect quotes; as I read, I keep a journal by my side where I write down the parts of a book that speak to me.  Here I present to you 6 powerful works about bullying by letting the book speak for itself.

Whale Talk by Chris Crutcher

“…racist thought and action says far more about the person they come from than the person they are directed at.”

“I walk outside and scream at the top of my lungs, and it maybe travels two blocks. A whale unleashes his cry, and it travels hundreds or even thousands of miles. Every whale in the ocean will at one time or another run into that song. And I figure whales probably don’t edit. If they think it, they say it…Whale talk is the truth, and in a very short period of time, if you’re a whale, you know exactly what it is to be you.”

“Nothing exists without its opposite.”

“…the Magnificent Seven consisted of one swimmer of color, a representative from each extreme of the educational spectrum, a muscle man, a giant, a chameleon, and a one-legged psychopath. When I envision us walking seven abreast through the halls of Cutter High, decked out in the sacred blue and gold, my heart swells.”

The Misfits by James Howe

“Another thing I think about names is that they DO hurt. They hurt because we believe them. We think they are telling us something true about ourselves, something other people can see even if we don’t. —Bobby Goodspeed”

“Sticks and stones may break our bones, but names will break our spirit. —Bobby Goodspeed”

“This business of really knowing people, deep down, including your own self, it is not something you can learn in school or from a book. It takes your whole being to do it—your eyes and your ears, your brain and your heart. Maybe your heart most of all. —Bobby Goodspeed”

Bruiser by Neal Shusterman

“If your heart tells you something but your mind tells you something else, which do you believe? Both are just as apt to lie. In fact, they play at deceit all the time. Mostly they balance each other, giving us that crucial reality check. But what happens on the rare occasions when they conspire together?”

“What’s the point of living if you’re going to hate the world? Guard your heart if you have to, but don’t shut it away.”

“You think you want to know the secrets of the universe. You think you want to see the way things all fit together. You believe in your heart of hearts that enlightenment will save the world and set you free.
Maybe it will.
But the path to enlightenment is rarely a pleasant one.”

By the Time You Read This, I’ll Be Dead by Julie Anne Peters

“No one ever found out what was happening inside me. How the pain was eating me away. No one ever came to my rescue, or stood up for me.”

“I’ve never been afraid of the dark. I’m more afraid of the day, of people. I love the night. The solitude. Well, I don’t love it. I don’t feel love. I hate people, so I hope when I get there it isn’t crowded. I hope the light is a momentary phenomenon and the other side is completely black. And silent.”

“Everything seems to be working.” Except me. I’m broken.”

The Hate List by Jennifer Brown

“Life isn’t fair. A fair’s a place where you eat corn dogs and ride the ferris wheel.”   

“One’s my favorite number. The word won being the past tense of win, and we can all say at the end of the day that we won once again, can’t we? Some days making it to the end of the day is quite a victory.”

“At Garvin High we were dealt a hard dose of reality this year. People hate. That’s our reality. People hate and are hated and carry grudges and want punishments … I don’t know if it’s possible to take hate away from people. Not even people like us, who’ve seen firsthand what hate can do. We’re all hurting. We’re all going to be hurting for a long time. And we, probably more than anyone else out there, will be searching for a new reality every day. A better one … But in order to change reality you have to be willing to listen and to learn. And to hear. To actually hear.”

13 Reasons Why by Jay Asher

“You can’t stop the future
You can’t rewind the past
The only way to learn the secret
…is to press play.”

“But you can’t get away from yourself. You can’t decide not to see yourself anymore. You can’t decide to turn off the noise in your head.”

“In the end….everything matters.”

“No one knows for certain how much impact they have on the lives of other people. Oftentimes, we have no clue. Yet we push it just the same.”

Previous Posts: Join the Fight Against Bullying ; A Letter to Teens About Bullying

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