Saturday, July 1, 2017

And Now a Word About Bullying

Bullying.  Was this a thing back in the day?  I'm pretty sure at some point in our lives, we have all been technically bullied.  Or......we have been on the pitching side of some pretty nasty behavior to others.  I seem to remember people calling me a loud mouth (that hasn't changed), some even called be a word that rhymes with witch (again, still appropriate), and I was often told I was too skinny (would that I had that problem today, too freckled (those faded...or were eaten by wrinkles), and also that I was just down right ugly (that one hurt because I thought I looked like my mom and I thought she was the most gorgeous thing ever).  But, I also remember in elementary school being part of a nasty little set of "mean girls" who mercilessly picked on a girl someone deemed "less than."  I am to this day not sure why I did that because I actually liked the girl and had spent the night with her a time of two and every now and then, her brother was my boyfriend.  But, I did it and it wasn't until a teacher, my favorite teacher who I thought probably went home at night and unfolded her angel wings, pulled me to her side one day and told me how disappointed she me.

It killed me.

In any case...I don't think bullying is new and I don't think it is worse than it's ever been.  And, I know it is an important subject and of great merit as a teaching moment.  And, I also know that for probably at least 5 years now, it has been front and center of a lot of teaching, preaching and in some cases over reaching.

My flakes are frosted over the grown people in this country who are daily whining, crying and having to seek out crayons and play dough because some other grown up "bullied" them.

To my way of thinking the overuse of the "bullying" tactic is basically making it increasingly ineffective in the areas where it should really matter.  Children, the aged, the handicapped, the infirm and the otherwise challenged individuals for whom we should all make a stand.

When a grown man says a female "bullied" him - I cringe.  Maybe I'm not terribly evolved but I mean really dude?  Just how big of a "baby" are you?  I am proud to say that there isn't a single man in my acquaintance who would resort to emasculating himself in this manner.  They would either smile and walk away noting to themselves, that you, dear, are a horrible human being or they would call you out not as a bully but as an awful person, and let the chips fall where they may.  If you were another male, their response would be different and could possibly involve fisticuffs or pistols at 50 paces, but call you a bully?  Nope.  Not even.  They might call you something else, but they would never relinquish that inherent maleness by slapping a "victim of a bully" label on themselves.

When we, as a society, decide to verbally needlepoint trendy buzz words on our feelings pillows, those words lose their meaning and their strength little by little.  Plus, in resorting to always feeling like we are the victims of bullying, we are depriving ourselves of the opportunity to utilize our people skills, our powers of persuasion, our finesse, and our intelligence, some cases even our attractiveness to the opposite sex.  Yes.  I went there.  But ultimately, we deprive ourselves of the ability to "rise" and show just how tough we are in a crisis.

Can we please save the word "bullying" for the playground
Or for those among us who truly need a strong voice advocating for them against real bullies, real threats, real dangers and real problems.

Merely getting your "feels" hurt or your proverbial panties in a twist just simply isn't enough.

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