Bullying is a hot topic these days because so many sad cases have been brought to our attention by the media. Can you believe that bullying has led to numerous suicides in young people? Bullying really is nothing new (there have always been bullies: why do you think we needed the Civil Rights Movement??), but it has taken on a whole new dimension in the world of social media.
We are lucky to have advances in technology and we should be reminded to use them for good and not evil. We always have choices with what we are given. We can choose to use our hands to pat someone on the back or we can ball them into fists to inflict pain. Use facebook to keep in touch with friends, not to cut someone else down.
I still do not understand the basic concept of bullying. Bullies must get something out of being mean because surely watching someone suffer can’t make them happy. So what do they do it for? According to http://www.bullying.org it is for power and contempt.
Here is an excerpt from http://www.bullying.org.
“Bullying is the assertion of power through aggression. Its forms change with age: school playground bullying, sexual harassment, gang attacks, date violence, assault, marital violence, child abuse, workplace harassment and elder abuse (Pepler and Craig, 1997).
Bullying is not about anger . It is not a conflict to be resolved, it’s about contempt –a powerful feeling of dislike toward someone considered to be worthless, inferior or undeserving of respect. Contempt comes with three apparent psychological advantages that allow kids to harm others without feeling empathy, compassion or shame. These are: a sense of entitlement, that they have the right to hurt or control others, an intolerance towards difference, and a freedom to exclude, bar, isolate and segregate others” (Barbara Coloroso “The Bully, the Bullied and the Bystander”).”
It makes sense to me that contempt allows the bully to not feel empathy (empathy means the ability to relate to and feel the feelings of another) because if bullies felt empathy, there would be no bullies.
I like to think that I have always been on the side of good and not evil. I never intentionally hurt someone and I always tried to help out an under-dog. I guess I did this a lot because someone actually wrote in my middle school yearbook, “Stop standing up for everyone and you’ll be fine.” What the meaning of that is, is a mystery to me but I am happy that was said because if there is one thing to be written on my headstone, I wouldn’t mind if it was “She wasn’t fine but she did stand up for everybody.” :o)
This is a topic I want to explore more through my blog, but for now, let’s all try to stop bullying by standing up for others and not being a part of the problem ourselves.
What do you think about bullying? What are your experiences?
Check out http://www.bullying.org where you can find more information and take the Anti-Bullying Pledge!