October has been designated as "Anti-Bullying Month". Sometimes I think we have a month for everything. However, this is one we need. Physical bullying is bad and can leave both emotional as well as physical scars. But I often wonder with some of the directions the internet has taken, if cyber-bullying might not inflict even deeper wounds and more lasting scars.
As a journalist, I hold strongly to our First Amendment rights. With rights though, go responsibilities. It is very easy to be act brave when you are operating under a blog alias and not your own name. I have seen people say crude and extremely hurtful things they would never have the courage to say if people knew who they were—or further still if they were standing face to face with the person. Most of these people are cowards themselves and vent their fear of confrontation and anger by hiding behind an internet handle. This type of bullying has even led to the suicide of some of its recipients.
The next time you are tempted to comment or respond anonymously…stop and ask if you would make the same comments to a person's face. Physical bullies should remember there is always someone bigger and tougher than they and what goes around, comes around. It takes a much stronger person to show restraint and mannerly behavior.