“Rock, paper, scissors”: Google against bullying

In these days, while surfing the Internet, I’ve often bumped into a very beautiful and meaningful video: “Rock, paper, scissors”, the Android (the mobile operating system by Google) commercial against bullying. The commercial isn’t new, since it had been launched in February, during the last Oscar ceremony. But, since bullying is still a global issue, it’s always worth to watch it again and, above all, reflect on the profound meaning of the message it transmits.

Rock, paper, scissors”: who has never played this game, at least once, as a child? In the game, the three elements are, on one hand, able to cancel their opponent’ action, but, on the other hand, are exposed to it: for instance, the rock beats the scissors, but, meanwhile, it’s beaten by the paper. Only joining their own forces rock, paper and scissors can stand up to the external attacks.

Since the bully (or the bullies) leverage precisely the loneliness of the victim he has chosen, to hit her. And bullying is an issue that constantly affects children and kids of all ages, for very different reasons: disability, ethnic, sexual or, simply, behavioural or aesthetic differences are all factors that, marking a “diversity”, can make who represents them, unfortunately, as a sort of “menace”, to be removed from the picture that, according to the bullies, should represent “perfection”.

“Rock, paper, scissors” the commercial against bullying

So, what can we do? How to solve this problem? For sure, not pretending it doesn’t exist, judging bullying as “childish actions”, that will pass by themselves, as it, unfortunately, often happens. The only way to overtake bullying is, as the “Rock, paper, scissors” commercial recalls, joining our forces, not isolating the (even just potential) victims of bullying, staying close to them, making any possible effort to overthrow, through an inclusive culture, the barriers that separate from the “diverse” people.

Is the commercial with Checco Zalone truly “unfair”?

In these days, there’s a lot of buzz around the commercial with Checco Zalone for the fundraising to support the research about Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA), promoted by Famiglie SMA no-profit organization.

Contrary to what usually happens in this kind of initiatives, the commercial with Checco Zalone doesn’t use pietistic tones, but leverages something the Apulian comedian is famous for: his ability to be desecrating. In the commercial, Zalone complains about his neighbour’s excesses. What’s new? The neighbour he’s talking about is Mirko, a kid with SMA who’s just moved to the building, forcing Zalone to modify his own habits: he loses his parking spaces, gets late at work or misses his flight because, due to architectonical barriers, the kid’s father has to do thousands of manoeuvres to enable him getting from the car to home and vice versa, can’t sleep because Mirko plays ‘til late with videogames, etc.

Mirko, in the commercial, isn’t described as a “poor guy” to help for pity, but as an “obstacle”: Zalone decides to fund the research wishing that, this way, Mirko gets better and sets him free from the issues he causes.

Famiglie SMA - commercial with Checco Zalone

Does it mean that the commercial with Checco Zalone is “unfair”? In my opinion, it’s exactly the opposite. Because it’s exactly this way we’d have to look at disability: enough with a limited-time compassion (which, very often, doesn’t change anything), welcome “normality”!

We don’t have to support the scientific research due to “pity”, but to help people that, for the better or for the worse, are exactly like everyone else. Then, maybe, also to “selfishly” solve a problem. The same approach should be adopted when looking at architectonical and cultural barriers,  that daily limit the life of many people, both disabled and not: their removal wouldn’t have to be a “courtesy” towards to people or categories to feel sorry for, but the outcome of the awareness that, without them, the world we’re all living in would definitely be better. For everyone.