March 12, 2012

Don’t Bully, Go Deeper! {Movie & Sad Childhood Review}

Bullying is an epidemic infecting children and families every day.

If you’re not convinced of the depth of its destruction, watch the trailer below to preview Bully, a Harvey Weinstein documentary directed by Lee Hirsch.

The Bully trailer introduces us to children and parents who suffer the brutal and sometimes fatal effects of this disease. Hope and inspiration does surface in the last few scenes as parents and children rally to find a bully cure.

If you want to experience this emotional ride, plan to view the film. I will, but not for the shock and awe factor. I’ll support the film because I too feel cavernous measures must be taken to prevent bullying.


I’m optimistic that Bully will shift concerned viewers and spark desire to make the world a better place.

Thank you, creators. I honor your courage and vision.

I’m also empathetic towards your recent R rating by the MPAA. I too feel that cursing is a reality among many 13 year olds, just as bullying is a haunting reality to millions of children in the United States. This R rating decreases your potential for enlightening a younger audience.

But as I applaud your movie and determination to change the rating to PG 13, I’m left with many questions.

• Once Bully hits the big screen, will bullies of any age view the film?

• Will they pay money to witness themselves as the desperate fearful children that they are?

• If so, will bullies see how they transfer their deep suffering and lack of self-worth onto others?

• If they see this truth, will they leave the theater knowing there is a cure for their pain? (Because so far, anger management classes, detention, counseling, family consequences, and bully education at school has not transformed their rage.)

• And lastly, if they desire to heal their pain, will they have access to a holistic cure?

These questions represent the void I see in the anti-bullying movement today.

We must go farther. We must dig deeper. We must meet children at the depths of their souls.

Yes, we need the anti-bullying programs and their scripted dialogues and to-do-lists on bully management. Yes, kids need to know how to protect themselves, friends, and classmates from bullies.

But we also need programs, sponsors, mentors, and parents who show children how to access their souls and live authentically. We must show kids how to go within, cultivate self-love, and flourish from their inherent being. Yes, the mind/body tools in current programs are vital pain relievers, but comfort measures alone will not eradicate this epidemic. We need attention at the soul level to create a holistic cure.


How do we support children at the soul level?

Let’s give them the powerful tool of self-awareness, and show them how self-awareness heals and nourishes humans from the inside out. Children who are self-aware can see and live from within. They remember how to live instinctively. They explore their imaginations, listen to their inner voice, and find experiences that illicit compassion. Self-awareness reminds kids how to experience themselves as love, not a body and mind victimized by personal suffering and outside judgment. If a child is being bullied, or is a bully, we can relieve their pain with “right behaviors/right thoughts”—and reintroduce them to their inherent wisdom.

As the parent, teacher, artist, counselor etc., we must lead by example. Be self-awareness in action. Show children how we access our gifts, use our intuition, and act from loving instinct. We can show kids how self-awareness is a map to their emotions and reactions. Encourage them to use this map to make healthy choices. With our supervision, discernment, and newly constructed self-aware programs, we can start a Child Self-Aware movement. In addition to Bully and the existing anti-bully programs/movement, we can nourish our children at the soul level.

I understand these concepts are deep. I know they are challenging to teach especially when considered whoo whoo and/or out of religious bounds. But I say, too bad. It’s time.

Children and elders alike need to live from the depths of their souls. Self-awareness, self-worth, self-love, self-esteem, and personal truth cannot be bought or stolen. They cannot be “liked” or “followed” into existence. These divine aspects of self must be modeled, encouraged, and personally revealed. Once self-awareness lives in one’s life, love is harvested from within. Add this soulful way of being to the mind/body anti-bullying programs today, and I not only see a holistic cure, I see…immunity.

Bully, the movie, I wish you the best of luck. And to all others called to heal this epidemic, come forth and share your vision. The time is now.


If the discussion of self-awareness and children speaks to you, please check out my website/book.

If you are interested in parental consciousness and raising conscious families, check out these authors/books. I highly recommend them!

Annie Burnside, M.Ed., author of Soul to Soul Parenting: A Guide to Raising a Spiritually Conscious Family

Shefali Tsabary, PhD, author of The Conscious Parent: Transforming Ourselves, Empowering our Children

Also, here is a link to a conscious parenting blog, a great resource:



Editor: Brianna Bemel


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