What has happened to our society?
When did demeaning comments and bullying behavior become the norm?
Several recent happenings in our city as well as past activities locally and nationwide have proven, we as a society are broken.
It’s now OK to bully local officials, national political candidates and a teenage girl with crude remarks, blatant untruths, unfounded assumptions and uncalled for harassment.
A lady in her 50’s calls a 15-year-old girl a little b**** on Facebook and thinks that’s OK? That is where it starts folks, “my kid is better than yours,” “my kid would never do that,” those are the very comments our young people hear and follow on a daily basis.
Comments made to school officials, city leaders and others have been made by many whom I won’t name, you know who you are.
Bullying is nothing new, I endured it throughout high school by the so called good kids, the teachers pets and the very people charged with protecting us in school. My first week at high school I was thrown into a garbage container by some upper classmen.
This behavior went on for months until one day I turned around and punched one of the guys square in the face, you can guess who got suspended.
There are always several social classes people fit into, athlete “jock” or non athlete, “freak”, rich or poor, good kid or bad kid, skinny or overweight, democrat or republican, are we not all of the same species?
People will deny this and say it doesn’t happen but I will say “ wake up, it happens in all of our lives on a daily basis. We as a society are broken!
I took pride in the fact that during my time as an elected official I listened to both sides of an issue, I never took the automatic vote with the so called group I was lumped into, I voted as my constituents and my heart dictated, and to this day I face rude remarks for past decisions, is that not a form of bullying?
In today’s society it’s the norm.
We see it every day in the papers, on Facebook and in our daily lives, we accept it, it’s the norm in today’s world, we as a society need help, we need to look in the mirror and ask “ how does this comment or action affect others?”
We need to listen to each other, put political beliefs aside and relearn the meaning of communication.
Voicing displeasure with a statement, an action or a policy is fine, can we not do it in a civilized manner without nasty derogatory remarks?
Can we not debate an issue without calling names? Can world leaders not hold a debate without slandering each other? Can local editorial writers express opinions without pointing fingers or blame?
Can local groups gain attention and be heard without all of the negativity?
Bullying takes on many forms, we need to think before we speak, I say we because I too am guilty and I hope I can make some changes in my actions and think of others before I take action.
I challenge anyone reading this to take a step back, think about our decisions and actions before we act, let’s all try to make our community and our country a better place.
Randy Koehler – Former West Bend District 4 alderman