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Zangief Kid: Bullying and its effects

Zangrief from Street Fighter, who is known for the Spinning Piledriver, similar to the move Casey pulled on his bully. (Image via Wikipedia)

The Zangief Kid is making a big splash. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, it’s a video of this school student, Casey, getting bullied at school. He eventually snaps, and drops the bully on his head. He has since been suspended from school.

Now, I want to say right from the outset that I believe Casey’s reaction was most likely justified, but was completely over the top. I in no way condone violence. However, I know how harmful the effects of bullying can be.

When I switched schools at the end of year 10, I didn’t fit into the mould at the new school, and didn’t exactly want to change. I got pretty heavily bullied, including cyber-bullying. It was awful, and there were many times when I wanted to run away, to drop out of school, at times – to die. It was only through support of my friends, family and the teachers that I managed to get through the year. The main light of hope was that I would soon be out of school, and never see any of the bullies ever again.

The effects of bullying stayed with me well past the end of school though. I avoided the school – including the major shopping centre across the road – for years afterwards, afraid of seeing anyone. One day, the chaplain of the school contacted me and asked if I would meet him at the school for a discussion. Of course, he was late (not his fault the assembly ran late), but those few minutes of me waiting there were absolute torture, remembering all those bad memories, afraid that someone would see me and it would all start again. Of course, it didn’t – but it was still an awful feeling.

After that meeting, I was able to start releasing some of the anger that I held towards the school, and during a retreat, I was able to release it all to Jesus, all the pain that I had held in me, all the anger that I had bottled up. I’m a lot better now, but there are still some names that I’d prefer even my friends not to use.

Bullying is awful, and its effects can span a lifetime. This video has brought it into the forefront of our minds. At this time, let’s make a commitment to stop bullying wherever it happens.

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Easter Camp 2010

Easter Camp 2010 Poster

Over the weekend, I had the amazing blessing of being a leader on the Salvation Army Easter Camp. Running from Thursday Night until Monday Morning, we had an awesome time having fun, learning about God, and making new friendships. The theme for the weekend was Torn, based on the part of the Gospel story that when Jesus died on the cross, the curtain of the temple that shielded the Holy of Holies was ripped in two from top to bottom. Continue reading Easter Camp 2010

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Youth Homelessness

Biblical Truth

  apw_web_button "Don’t abuse or take advantage of strangers; you, remember, were once strangers in Egypt.

   "Don’t mistreat widows or orphans. If you do and they cry out to me, you can be sure I’ll take them most seriously; I’ll show my anger and come raging among you with the sword, and your wives will end up widows and your children orphans.

   "If you lend money to my people, to any of the down-and-out among you, don’t come down hard on them and gouge them with interest.

   "If you take your neighbour’s coat as security, give it back before night-fall; it may be your neighbour’s only covering—what else does the person have to sleep in? And if I hear the neighbour crying out from the cold, I’ll step in—I’m compassionate.

Exodus 22:21-27, The Message Continue reading Youth Homelessness

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Thinking Material

Tonight I attended 2Love Training – divisional Youth Leadership training with the Salvation Army. It was interesting to see how it differed from my past training experiences with the Anglican church. In the Anglican training I’ve been to, there had been maybe 20-30 participants, which would be representing maybe 25-30% of the congregations in Perth. At the Salvos training, there were again about 20-30 participants, which would represent perhaps 75-85% of the congregations in Perth. Obvious size difference there – and something I’m still getting used to. Of the 20-30 participants at the Anglican training, I might know 2 or 3. At the Salvos, they all knew each other. Connections, networking and relationships are of a higher significance in a smaller denomination.

In the Anglican training, they were introducing us to a new program that they were bringing in from the Eastern States, a form of running youth group that would build up the youth in the parish, and then hopefully they would bring their friends, all while preventing burn-out in the leaders. In the Salvo training, we just focussed on leadership – no specifics of what to do, but ways to find out what to do.

Now, of course, it’s far too early for me to be able to say whether one was better, or not, for in reality, they were both incredibly useful. Just different. But this training I’ve just received gave me far more to think about to help develop my personal leadership style, while the Anglican training was teaching me about a program that could work in a certain situation.

One thing that I did pick up was that identifying your strengths, weaknesses and passions is an essential part of being a leader, and identifying who has different passions is essential in building up a leadership team. You need a mix, in order to cater for all possibilities.

In our corps, we feel we’ve got a good balance between the youth leaders (though lacking in the actual youth), but our main lacking is cultural knowledge. All living outside of the corps area, we lack that local knowledge to know where the youth are, to know what the issues are. If we’re going to experience growth, this is something that we need to address.

In my blog, I also want to experience growth. For the last little while, I’ve not known what to do with my blog. In the past, I have written about my music, and my life at uni. Now that I’m no longer performing all that often, or even playing violin all that often, I need to refocus. I need to rediscover where my passions lie, where the direction for this blog will go. It is important to identify your passions, strengths and weaknesses in order to be a good leader, but it is also important to reflect upon them often, to see if they have changed over time. This might be a little bit of a challenge for me, as for the past 5 years, my passion has been classical music – though at the moment I feel that slipping away from me as I get interested in other things. Confronting as this may be, letting it go and focussing on my passions will eventually lead to growth – growth in my leadership abilities, growth in my blog, and growth in my personal self.

Big shout out to Captain Collo, who was running the training tonight. Big pleasure to meet the writer of a blog that I’ve been reading for some time now. Not exactly as I’d pictured in my head – though I have no idea why the image in my head was what it was – but great to meet him, and was encouraged by what he had to say.