US poet Maya Angelou once wrote, “We delight in the beauty of the butterfly, but rarely admit the changes it has gone through to achieve that beauty.”
This is especially true when it comes to the main characters of the hit movie Better Days, which came out in China on Oct 25.
Starring Jackson Yee and Zhou Dongyu, the film follows an outstanding candidate for the national college entrance exam Chen Nian, who meets teenage hooligan Liu Beishan at a sad situation. Liu was abandoned by his parents and dropped out of school at 13. He tries to protect Chen from school violence. The two form a strong relationship, and support each other as they grow up in a difficult environment. But before they take the exam, Chen accidentally kills a classmate who bullies her at school and Liu tries to protect her by taking the blame.
Talking about why he chose to star in the movie, Yee said that he was attracted by the theme of teenage bullying. “Beyond the problem of school violence, the film also forthrightly reflects on the mental growth of youth,” he told Global Times.
Often the easiest targets are those who seem to be the weakest: the nicest or quietest people. Or they pick on people who stand out from others. “Anything out of the norm can make you a target – anything that brings undue attention to yourself,” US high school teacher Jeff Ward told The Daily Universe newspaper.
This may be true, but that doesn’t mean that the victims have themselves to blame. “You did not ask to be bullied,” bullying prevention author Sherri Gordon told Very Well Family website. “The bully made that choice and you are in no way responsible for another person’s thoughts and actions.”
For those who are neither bullies nor victims, if you know someone who’s being bullied, don’t just stand by and let it happen. At the end of the day, knowing what’s right doesn’t mean much unless you do what’s right.