One Way to Start the Day

This video is making me weep.

This morning started out like any other.

I hopped onto the computer and saw this video posted on Elizabeth McLennan‘s Facebook page.

I watched it.

And I couldn’t stop crying.

I challenge you to get through this video without crying.

The comments are flying in to this boy’s page like crazy. Hundreds, every minute.

I couldn’t get mine to post.

Maybe you can get your words of support to stick.

I know I’ve said this before, but talk to your children about bullying. About the words they use to other people.

Teach them to lift people up rather than tear them down.

And just so you know, I did some research, and Jonah posted another video yesterday, so I assume he is doing okay.

But there are other “Jonahs” out there.

What would you say to a child who is hurting? And I wonder why he removed the second video.

24 thoughts on “One Way to Start the Day

  1. This has to stop. It just has to.

    I watched this poor boy struggle to catch his breath and fight back tears while he flashed his cards.

    And all I kept thinking is, “What is WRONG with people that we allow this kind of bullying to happen?”

    It just has to stop.

    1. WHY? Why is this happening? What is wrong with our society? I don’t have a clue. But I also think most parents, teachers, kids don’t have a clue. We all think it’s not our sons and daughters who would bully. But it is someone’s child doing it. A lot of someones. Be aware of what is going on in your kid’s social circles. What they post on fb. What they text to eachother, talk about. It’s very possible your kid, my kid will be bullied, or do the bullying. Or let it happen so that they won’t be the next target. Think about it. Remember your own expirences in school. Be aware so that this will STOP.

    2. I only have the energy to post one real message. So I am going to post it repeatedly.

      Our kids are so hooked into technology. (Like we are.) It’s easy to be bullied on Facebook. Via text message. Via instant message.

      Home isn’t quiet or safe. They are continually bombarded.

      It. Is. Awful.

  2. These videos are so powerful, and I really, really hope they’re making a difference. The best thing I can think of to say to a child that’s hurting is to tell them how much I value them, and describe all of the things that I think make them wonderful. In doing so, I would hope that during their dark, alone times, they might remember some of it – one of those million reasons worth living.

  3. I didn’t cry. I couldn’t. I could barely breathe through the 4:36min.

    because my son has been bullied.
    continues to be bullied.

    His school has been fantastically responsive.

    But the question is why has it gotten so prevalent. So malicious. So destructive.

    Thank you for bringing this to my attention.

    1. My son, too. Especially when he was in elementary school. Middle school has been amazing for him because he has found so many more children with similar interests.

      But what are we doing?

      And how can we get this to stop?

      Our kids are so hooked into technology. (Like we are.) It’s easy to be bullied on Facebook. Via text message. Via instant message. Home isn’t quiet or safe. They are continually bombarded.

      It. Is. Awful.

  4. I can’t say anything original here. I’m awed by how brave this child was to dare to show his pain to….who knows who? I hope it has somehow helped him, or perhaps brought him some of the support he needed. I too worry that he took a later message down. Why?

  5. Been there. Done that. I was tortured throughout middle school. Not because I was any different from anyone else in my school. Not because I was gay (although it was certainly said often enough). Not because I was anything. I was a Nothing. And Nothings get teased, picked on, poked, prodded, laughed at, and kicked to the curb on a regular basis. We Nothings are the kids who are beneath “regular” members of society. We are made to feel like we deserve the treatment we are getting.

    For me and my situation, someone took things too far. After 2 and a half years of being bullied verbally, mentally, and emotionally, they got physical. I was pushed from behind in the locker room after gym class. I turned around and started swinging. I swung at the first kid standing behind me. A kid I easily out weighed by 20 pounds. I punched him, hit him in the chest. He punched me back. Several punches were exchanged, then I took a step back and kicked him. I put every bit of anger I had into that kick. I lifted him off the ground (not really surprising as I could leg press 500 pounds when I was 14). Yes, I got in trouble. Yes, it was worth it. Suddenly, I wasn’t a Nothing anymore. I was a Something. I’m not sure if I liked what I had become, however, I did like that I was FINALLY left alone.

    1. Please note: I’m not trying to trivialize what is happening to Jonah. I thought that reply was getting to be very long and hit enter without editing things a bit.

      What I am getting at is, that sometimes standing up for yourself is what it takes. Sometimes going with the status quo isn’t enough. Sometimes action is required. I’m not saying that Jonah should take up fighting. Something has to be done for that poor kid and the millions who are bullied who don’t speak out.

      1. I am 100% behind you. And I have a person with whom I’m in contact from back in my middle and high school days who intimated that she wishes that someone told her to fight back.

        Sure, she might have gotten in trouble, but if she had been given permission to just go ape shit all over her offenders, people might have left her alone after that.

        Your story is proof that sometimes you have to fight fire with fire.

        Now that we don’t let kids fight at recess, they externalize their pain and bring guns to school.

        Or they turn their pain inward and cut themselves.


        I just want to tell all of them they are here for a reason. And there will come a point when the name calling will stop. Because it does.

  6. My heart goes out to Jonah and to so many other children who are being bullied and hurting themselves. It’s unthinkable, how cruel some children are. I am glad that I participated in a diversity education group in college. I KNOW we got through to some kids. After the show, kids would come up and say they cried watching certain scenes because they felt that way too. One member joined us after rethinking his ways listening to a spoken word I performed. He admitted to being a racist and bigot. He learned to listen and be more open and ended up helping all of us to grow. Change can happen, but it’s because of people like Jonah, sharing their stories and telling the world they have a MILLION reasons to be here. God bless you, Jonah!

  7. Dear Jonah,
    You are stronger than you sometimes are led to believe. Middle School can be unusually cruel, and that is so very wrong. As you get older things DO get better. Please hang in there! My grandsons have been bullied and in High School friends change and school life improves. Also, please enlist your parents and principal for support. Parents are there for you forever. Sharing your story can lead to the changes which are so needed.

  8. I am so touched that you were as moved (read: as wrecked) by this video as I was. I couldn’t stop crying, watching. In fact, at one point I physically reached out to wipe his tears, only to be stopped by the monitor.

    How my heart aches for this boy – so brave, so hurt. I hurt for his parents and so many like all of them, feeling helpless, feeling hopeless.

    And I pray for him…and for my own sons, whom I pray will NEVER know this kind of torment. I worry that they will – that bullying will continue to worsen and that I will not know what to say or do to stop it, just as I have no idea now.

  9. I’ve spent time with some Jonahs. Heartbreaking. The bullying needs to stop, absolutely. But it’s not going to go away. I’m an optimist but also a realist. So we continue to see these poor kids in an age when bullying never ends because of technology. There’s no more going home to an unplugged house like we use to have.

    Bottom line is that we have to give these kids meaning. They have to understand their value. It’s not relative, and they’re not animals. They have to no the matter to us and more importantly to a God who created them and loves them.

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