Saturday, April 16, 2016

On Bullying

To the Victims,
    Our society is in a nasty situation: we are filled with bullies, and society is multiplying them rather than depleting them. You may think that societal pressure and TV shows that villainize bullies would help, but they actually make things worse. When I was in college, I noticed that those who watched the Disney Channel were often the bullies. If you watch the CW network, that’s not any better. I pondered why, as I recall the shows on there would condemn bullying. Now I realize they actually promoted bullying. They condemned one form of bullying, only to advocate another.
    What is this other form of bullying? It's what adults practice, though it's common for the female youth to do so as well. Instead of the stereotypical physical bullying often done by boys, it's emotional and psychological. While a boy may physically threaten you for lunch money, a girl would try to try to destroy your friendships and destroy your self-esteem by humiliating you. I actually had a female teacher who taught at an all-girls school and an all-boys school and she said she preferred the boys to girls for a similar reason. Her analysis was “Boys fight to prove a point, girls fight to destroy each other.” While each gender is certainly capable of doing the other method of bullying, the typical practice is usually limited to what I described. This is a bit of a stretch, but it may actually be related to the TV shows each gender typically watches.
   The Disney Channel has mostly been female-centric for a while now, so little girls would be the type most likely to watch and be indoctrinated with the emotional bullying. Boys have been stereotyped into watching action cartoons, so they see the more forceful form of bullying instead. So if a girl instead watches the more physical shows that boys typically see, perhaps she'll be more likely a physical bully than an emotional one. Likewise, if boys are forced to become more feminine, then they may more likely become emotional bullies by the time they are adults.

    Now this still doesn't make sense. I made a claim earlier that society isn't helping despite pressure. Well, here's the irony. TV ads and magazines verbally claim that bullying is evil, but they often engage in bullying tactics such as blackmail or suing in order to get what they want, which means they are bullies. Children perform actions mostly based off the results they see, not based off what they hear. So when a child sees that his father gets his way when he raises his voice and throws a fit, he's going to do the same. Just like if they see an adult, who is "cool", smoking a cigarette, he'll likely smoke as well (hence why smoking was banned on TV for decades in the US as well as many other things. This is also why censorship is a good thing when it's practiced properly).
    Perhaps I should give some examples of everyday bullying. It’s so bad, that the purpose of occupations has been completely undermined. Politicians and Lawyers often make their living by bullying others. This is WRONG! Politicians are supposed to reconcile people, not break them apart. Lawyers are supposed to defend the afflicted, not create them. Free speech is supposed to promote listening to everyone’s concerns, not to heckle or boo someone off stage. The world is full of bullies and we must convert that which has been turned evil back to good.

    There's also a second reason for the abundance of bullying, and that's because of a lack of empathy, though not in the way you might be thinking. What I mean is that even when adults condemn bullying in the schools, they don't help. By help, I don't mean putting a stop to the bullying but rather teaching kids how to properly handle them. As a result, the only advice children get is from the TV shows I mentioned before. The problem expands in that the TV shows are crafted to try to make the children feel good, which often results in the bullies being bullied. This is because we apparently don't care about those who are bullied when we have been bullied ourselves. As least, that's what I've noticed from adults. When I was being bullied on the psychological front, the deans had no helpful advice and would often just stick to their rules where, as long as there was no physical bullying, they would do nothing and give no helpful advice. All I can recall them saying is something along the lines of "You need to figure it out" or "You need to grow up." I think one did mention something about bullies were often bullied themselves, though he didn't go into the details like I have about that.
    This lack of help about how to stop bullying could be claimed as one of the great crimes of inaction by adults, as kids don't grow out of bullying, they grow into bullying. And as these kids, who don't know how to handle bullies, become adults, they cannot help their children either. But enough about describing the cause. Let me offer the solution.

    This might not be something you want to hear, but the answer is the cliché "Forgive". Yes, that thing that Christians often preach about is how we stop bullying. It may not stop your immediate bullying problem, but it'll lay the foundation for destroying it in the future. When you realize that bullies are those who were previously bullied but didn't know how to properly cope, you find that it's because they are seeking "fairness" which they think is Justice. As I previously mentioned, Mercy helps puts things back in order, which is true Justice. The act of mercy here is to forgive. This may not fix the bully, but it will at least fix you. When you forgive, the bully may be done issuing his "revenge on society" or may continue, but your scars will heal. Because if your wounds stay open, you will start searching for revenge out of envy and carry it out until your thirst is quenched, and revenge is never sated except by forgiveness and true Justice.

With Love,
N. D. Moharo

P.S. Another observation is that bullies actually often think of themselves in their victims’ shoes. A common thought would be “I’ve had it worse. He hasn’t had enough yet.” This may often come from envy and it’s a hint about how to distinguish Bullying from Teasing even though they may appear the same. Bullying is rooted in malice, envy, or contempt, but Teasing comes from love or friendship.

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