Tuesday, March 15, 2016
Pick Pick Pick
I abhor a bully. Bullies are those creatures who pick on others in order to hurt them in some way. It might be physical like a punch to the jaw. It might be emotional like making fun of the way someone looks.
Bullies usually have a group with them. If they are alone they usually behave themselves. Whether the audience is because they need the applause or the security is open to interpretation. Either way bullies are usually only bullies when they feel safe being so.
With the evolution of social media the group is often those at other computers who feed egos with their comments. The anonymity of being at a computer makes them feel that they are in a solitary environment. I believe they feel free to say things that they moght not say if other people were not physically with them.
But they are still bullies. They intend to make someone feel less than. Ir is wrong.
All of us have been teased at one time or another. I remember when I was in say 3rd grade my mother packed my lunch for school.
At that time everything was wrapped in waxed paper. It was what was available. I ate my sandwich and whatever else was lunch. But the was a nice surprise there. Mom wrapped a nice piece of cake.
I unwrapped the cake. I had to eat it with my fingers because I had no tableware since I had not purchased my lunch. No problem.
The problem was that all the frosting from the cake was stuck to the waxed paper. For me no problem. I simply licked it off.
Someone from another lunch table saw me and started to make fun of me. "What are you doing? Eating the waxed paper?"
My feeling s were hurt but I pretended it did not bother me. It was over as soon as it began. I was going to say that it did not bother me but it must have. Otherwise I would not remember it 60 years later.
When I was in the second grade there were 5, count 'em, 5 girls in my grade. Of course we broke off into "cliques". Three girls would be "in". Two girls would be "out".
It was not the same groups all the time. Things would change at the drop of an eyelash. And the two girls were not often the same either. It was just that two must be on the outside and three on the inside.
I have no reason why it was that way. It just was.
Life was good as one of the three. I belonged. I could be carefree. I was"in"!
As one of the two life was spent trying to once again be one of the three. I was miserable.
I have to be honest. The three did not pick on the two. The three did not make fun of the two. They simply ignored them.
That situation is a good example of my second statement. I understand that children need to establish a "pecking order".
In any group of people there is a leader. One makes decisions and the others agree.
In the best groups the leader changes depending on the situation.
In order to function in a society a person must know his/her place in the pecking order. He/she must also know that place can be changed.
Some of the childish bickering that we see is simply jockeying for position. It is normal and healthy (most of the time). Adults have the responsibility to allow it to happen without getting out of control.
So I know bullying is bad. It is a fact.
I believe that learning to get along with others sometimes involves differences of opinion and learning how to deal with the opinions. The arts of acquiescing and compromise are important tools in life. Another lesson is learning not to abuse the power of leadership..
So conflict can be instructional as long as it is resolved peacefully. Bullying is always bad. Our lesson for today.