Bullying

Bullying is a despicable form of interaction reserved unto cowards, liars, and thieves. Bullies feast on the dignity and vulnerability of others while self-righteously justifying their actions to themselves and to those within their sphere of influence.

If you’ve ever been in the presence of a bully who is trying to gain something from you or another through denigration, you know that it is a most unsettling experience. I’ve had experiences in my life, for example, where a so-called friend was trying to dissuade me from my faith in the dignity and honor of a mutual acquaintance. In some cases the intentions were pure, where there was a concern that I had been blind to the true factors, but in digging a little further I discovered that in most cases selfish intent or prejudice were clouding the picture.

As such I’ve made it a policy in my life not to agree to any such denigration without a careful examination of the factors. I would be the first to admit that my perspective is limited, however, I would never discard or dismiss my own observations and experiences in the matter. My central concern is always with what is true and right in those around me and I’ve learned over the years that those who spend their time smearing the reputations of others typically have either low self-esteem, something to hide, or a personal axe to grind.

Such people are better off avoided, but occasionally you have to confront them directly. Sometimes – and this in my view should be the rare occasion – you have to walk reverently into the proverbial temple and overturn the tables of profiteers who trade on human dignity. You need not play by a bully’s rules rules or sink to his level by employing his tactics, but sometimes for the sake of your own dignity you have to cry foul and call a bully a bully in order to end the cycle of abuse.

The world is not always a kind place and yes, people act abominably on occasion. That said, I firmly believe that you are never honored by dishonoring another. You are never made taller by reducing the stature of another in the eyes of those around you. You cannot make yourself look better by making another look worse. To do so – or to agree with those who do so disingenuously – is to deny the source of your own dignity.

If you’ve made it this far in my post, then you know that you’re better than that. Whether you’ve assumed the role of the bully, the enabler, or the helpless victim, you have another level of responsibility to hold if you are honor the truth of love. So get to it!

2 thoughts on “Bullying

  • Bullying can be subtle. It’s ugly to see when it’s blatant – on the internet, the way some kids behave towards someone who is different in some way or is just someone they don’t like. It’s really awful when it happens to a young person whose capacities are not developed enough to handle it.

    I wouldn’t characterize myself as a bully but on close examination – yes – there have been times when I’ve belittled another (maybe not in their presence). That is just as bad as it can encourage others to join in. Enabling and taking the stance of a victim I would not have thought to lump in with bullying, but yes, they too are part of that whole destructive path. None of these attitudes help move each person involved forward. I guess that might be the question we ask ourselves. Am I helping this person move forward with my words and stance?

  • I take note of your words about agreeing with those who are bullying by dishonoring and reducing the stature of another or by making others look worse. I recognize how this can happen insidiously or blatantly. I appreciate your words to take notice when we may be bullying or agreeing with a bullish attitude and to hold ourselves accountable. Our experience of personal congruence with that which brings a sense of wholeness depends on it.

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