I’ve been seeing more posts and stories about bullying lately. Of course there’s been a huge focus in the news over the last few years, spurring the “It Gets Better” campaigns, but I think lately it’s more that school is out, parents are able to express their concerns now that it’s not a day to day painful struggle, and most obviously because of the viral video of kids on a school bus bullying an aide.
Bullying is wrong, it’s horrible, it’s despicable and it says to those with a brain that the bully is an asshole. There may be mitigating factors causing the behavior and those should be considered, but AFTER the situation is diffused, and the bully is restrained.
How we handle bullying is important. We are not handling it right. We blame media, we blame parents, we blame peers, we blame the victims. We tell others to walk away and ignore the bullying, or “rise above it”, which further enables the bully and sends a message of acceptance in society overall, not just the school yard.
Bully behavior is not new. It’s not caused by movies or television or aggressive video games. It’s not caused by fantasy imagination games or military news.
It’s caused by animal behavior and it’s perpetuated by our false egos. We as a society refuse to accept that within human beings there are beasts. We pretend to accept it by making laws, rules and such, but we punish the behavior by trying to eliminate it. We can’t, it’s part of who we are, just like anger, rage, sadness, love, passion and intelligence.
We won’t think it through and try a new approach, instead we’ll resort to finding 6 ways to stop bullying, or 7 steps to help your child cope with a mean classmate …. it’s crap. And it’s the wrong approach.
Bullying is part of nature. Human beings have been doing it for a long time. Animals of all types have their pack order that is bullied out. Politics, oh, just forget it, it’s a lost cause, but adults on the news every day are showing it’s not only ok, it’s a path to success to be a bully. Hell, even a good market is considered a BULL market!
School officials look at the child who reports bullying as a victim, but not as a true victim, they look at the child as weak and a problem causing the bullying. It’s easier to deal with that than the parents or the child that is the actual bully. That’s no different than animal pack behavior, where the “stronger” ones pick on and often kill the weaker ones.
I’m not saying this is right, I’m only saying this to explain where this comes from. It’s not from explicit music lyrics or television. It’s from nature.
The only way to stop a bully is to devalue their influence and impact. If you do not act strongly and harshly, they will grow up. They will become bosses who inflict pain and suffering on their employees.
It’s true, just like schoolyard bullies, adult bullies roar load and threaten, and sometimes act, when, as in nature, they are threatened (in the business world by those who are competent and raise questions, igniting a fear of being found out to be inferior or liars).
Just like kids in schools fear “ratting out” bullies due to retaliation, employees of bad bosses know that despite documentation to handle workplace threats and violence (physical, verbal and emotional) the retaliation will happen.
“Teachers and administrators cannot live in fear of the bully’s reaction or the reaction of the bully’s parents, and they have to start standing up more for victims of bullying. If they don’t we can continue to expect many more children like Asa Coon to snap and go on a violent rampage that has everyone scratching their head and wondering, how did this ever get so out of hand?”
We could easily say that adult bullies were victims of schoolyard bullies, and I’m sure you can think of some and picture them being the very kid shoved in a locker or teased at school, but that does not change the fact that they are bullies.
Bullies want attention and perceived power. They want control because they have none. They want to be perceived as big and bad because they are not. Fine, that’s great. We know that, but we must understand that “rising above” or making excuses that it comes from other places in reality only further ignites their short term rage issues and could be dangerous.
I don’t know the answer, but the answer isn’t telling kids in school yards not to bully, or to rise above or ignore bullies, when they have to go home and watch our government bully each other or other countries, or business leaders and workers bully other workers and citizens.
The plain fact in our society, and in the history of civilization, bullying has proven to be a path to success and power. We have not made one single iota of an effort to change that, so we are cultivating bullies and rewarding bully behavior at every stage.
Bullies need power removed at the first sign of bullying. The devaluing of bad behavior has to be done immediately by those in authority (eg, higher up bullies).
And before you all get all high and mighty on me about there being one real authority and it’s the lack of morals in this country … blah blah blah, bullshit. Religions of all sorts have been bullying for millennia so STFU, and go worry about all the institutions that are failing because of their own enabling of power corruption and bullying.
I heard a man once, a bully boss, say he once considered going into the clergy. I believe he told me this because he wanted to reinforce his higher connections and his stellar moral code, which of course had to be explained since it wasn’t readily obvious to anyone interacting with him. Putting the “calling” part aside, I thought that it seemed like it would have been a perfect match for him. He would have instant credibility through his position alone, without having had to earn it himself. He would have de facto respect by the title bestowed, again, without earning it, and would be able to stand and preach to people the words of others without having to follow, internalize, or even understand what they truly meant. When questioned he would be able to offer righteous indignation in return. Yes, it would have been a good fit for his needs.
It’s a shame he didn’t go into the clergy.
Probably that whole accepting a higher authority thing.
We have to stop rewarding bully behavior in our society. Stop saying victims of scams are weak. Stop hiding behind laws that are crap. Stop thinking that the foxes can guard the chickens … and start holding people accountable for bad behavior. Not with the law, but reminding them that respect has to be earned, it cannot be mandated.
Bullies are lazy at the end of the day. They believe they are entitled to certain things. Remove the entitlement, remove the laziness, and remove the power early on. Devalue them.