Thursday, January 22, 2015

Bullying... Willing to do harm

It follows the same brain path as prejudice, discrimination, and abuse. Looking at the underlying motive, it's about the same as getting angry and killing someone.  Surprised?

For decades, we've understood that establishing our social identity includes finding the place where we fit.  We categorize ourselves with others of like color or economic status or whatever.  It provides a sense of being 'in' and perhaps a view of those who are 'out' as somehow less worthy.  Some find self-worth by being 'in' and 'better' than all those losers.  The bully goes further, targeting those on the outside, thus enhancing their own sense of significance.  The process is brutal, and the impact can last a lifetime... in the bully.  Bullies, if not disassembled and rebuilt as healthy humans, will likely grow up to be rectal exit orifices.

Bullying affects the victim, of course.  If their identity and self-worth are attacked and damaged,  they may be unable cope alone.  It can be deadly. Family and other community relationships can soften the blow, even heal the victim.

I remember being ambushed around age 14 by four fellows who corralled me while one beat me badly.  More than fifty years later, I remember them; Don, Mike, David, and what's-his-name, oh, it was John.  To this day, I have no idea what their provocation might have been.  In retrospect, I don't think it had anything to do with me.  I didn't know them.  My family and I handled it.  Some of the scars are still visible.

Verbal bullying, just making fun of others ... nobody gets killed, right? It can't be that big a deal, can it?
It is, and much more.

Science and the bible agree on this one, to the surprise of many.

"You've been told, don't kill, but I'll tell you the rest.  If you're angry with another, you're the one to be judged.  If you insult another, you're guilty in front of the assembly.  If you call them a fool, you're at the gate of hell."  Jesus taught like that.  He let us know it's all part of the same cloth.

Science agrees.  The root of it all is the willingness and intent to do harm.  Being willing to destroy someone's school year is the same character flaw as being willing to take their life.  The fact that you didn't kill them isn't some nobility on your part; it's just the limit of what you think you can get away with.

Whether you buy into karma or 'sowing and reaping' or action/ reaction, the truth is that being a bully will in some measure rot your soul.  It shapes your personal (and unconscious) values as a potentially destructive participant in the social context. You'll make a wealth of bad choices in relationships and business based on that established personal value.

The way out for the bully?  I mentioned the bully's need to be disassembled and rebuilt as a healthy human.  That's where the character failure gets brought out into the open and killed.

Confession, repentance, restitution, and reconciliation; those are the biblical steps.  Effective counseling and professional psychological assistance will provide the same path.

The bottom line ... bullies are losers, literally.  A bully does harm, perhaps great harm, and in so doing, they may doom themselves to living permanently in that soiled diaper, forfeiting the chance to be an incredible person.

Teach the children well.

The video here is a slice of a girl's life. She was just eleven years old when a bully posted a video of her on youtube calling her the world's ugliest woman.  Millions of views and thousands of comments, most suggesting she should kill herself or not be seen in public.  
Curious how she coped?