January 21, 2012

On Chris Lao and Cyberbullying

I didn't know that cyberbullying could give a permanent damage to the one who has been the subject of it until I heard Chris Lao's experience. August last year when Chris Lao was victimized of harsh comments and reactions from the cyberworld after he put the blame to others when he rode his car to a flooded road. "I should have been informed" has become a viral statement. For less than a day after the video was aired on a national tv, hate pages were created and received thousands of likes, and his name was trending on twitter. "Bobo", "Gago" and "Arrogant" were just the few degrading words that I could remember being thrown to him. Did people think on what happened to Chris Lao because of their heartless comments?

I attended the Alternative Class Learning Experience (ACLE) about cyberbullying yesterday and Lao was the guest speaker.I learned a lot of life lessons from his talk. Well, I didn't learn them for the first time there, I got them years before. But it's good to be reminded of those lessons, because I tend to forget. He also opened his wounded heart when the bullies came. It is such a relief then that there are good things that happened and still happening out of a very unfortunate situation like his commercial in BPI.

He was warned to don't access the Internet so that he won't be able to read the comments but he thought he was strong enough that he could bear all of them. Yet, he was wrong and the despicability of the cyberworld crushed his heart. According to him, a permanent damage has been done in his life. He realized that there is no difference between bullying in cyberspace and in person in terms of the pain that they produce. One of the comments that sticks to his mind is, "Insultohin natin siya hannggang sa magpakamatay." He thought, were his actions really that bad that will deserve him to die? Because of the bullies, there were times that he cried blood and cried involuntarily. He even asked for a shrink's help to deal with the depression. He is still taking an anti-depressant drug. 

That is how bad bullying is. It has the power to destroy ones life. Actually, a lot of those victims committed suicide. I couldn't say that I never bullied in the Internet. I think I can call it cyberbullying when I tweeted that Christian of Mara Clara (Gosh, I forgot his screen name!) was an a**hole. I said that when it was confirmed (well, it goes without saying) that he was the father of Andi Eigenmann's child. I was carried by my emotion when it was stirred knowing that he slapped and left her. Thus, calling him an a**hole. Yeah, maybe he deserved that noun. But hey, I still don't have the position to call him one. And I'm sorry for that. That's one of the things that taught from the talk, to never bully again because it could hurt. Let us be reminded of Dalai Lama's words:
Our prime purpose in this life is to help others, and if you can't help them, at least don't hurt them.
If we have nothing good to say, let us just shut up. And if you really can't stop ourselves from speaking, at least say it in a way that couldn't degrade a person.

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