The old adage “life imitates art applies equally true to bullying. Nevertheless a lot of people merely associate bullying with youth seeking to impose their will upon others. In all reality, this limited definition misrepresents and distorts the truth. Bullying has a perceptible existence in the workplace, home, social and political groups, i.e. life in general. Nonetheless because bullying is not an admirable quality, as a consequence, no one wants to be associated with the unfavorable virtue. Hence the word bullying is replaced with terms designed to inspire affection or resilience such as tough negotiating, structured management, firm parenting and toughen a person up.
In spite of the fact some people may want to believe that there are dissimulates in the above-mentioned examples, if for no other reason than to avoid accepting responsibility and taking accountability, but there is no denying both conform to the same principles: someone seeking to impose their unwelcome will upon another.
Am I insinuating that some of us demonstrate or have demonstrated the unsavory characteristic of a bully? Without a doubt or contradiction. We’ve got to be honest about this if we are to eradicate this infectious disease running rampart in schools and even in the work place. With that said eliminating this problem necessitates that all of us develop an honest willingness to hear the truth, no matter how hurtful it may be.
Sure, I know that it can be hard to absorb the truth; however, undeniably there is a correlation between adults, bullying, and youth: youth imitate the actions they experience. Therefore the specific issue of bullying starts and ends with adults. If you do not believe this truth, answer me this, have you or do you ever try to exercise authority and influence over others in a way that you know in your heart is improper? Are you at times intoxicated by authority or say things that after looking back, made a person feel reduced in worth or value? Do you think that you can say or do whatever you want, causing physical or emotional injury to others without any consequences or repercussions? Is your default response to act out when things do not go your way? Are there times when you are drunk with ignorance? If you were able to answer “no” to all of the above-mentioned questions, go ahead and throw the first stone.
We fail to consider that the mind of an adult matures much faster than youth. This is important to consider because if you have ever demonstrated any of these distasteful characteristics around youth, while you may have grown out of it, the child is left imitating the bad behavior. Why? Because as you matured, you never took the time to explain to the child that you’re prior misbehavior was inappropriate. You simply get mad and disappointed at the youth when you see he\she continuing to imitate the old you.
I know that this conversation is deep, however, running from the truth instead of dealing with the disheartening reality of who we really are\have been\can be at times impedes our ability to grow and help our youth. For this reason we cannot decline the invitation to examine ourselves which causes discomfort even if we are forced to see ourselves for who we really are or have been.
Now if you are still holding that stone in your hand undecided, ponder this: People recognize you by the fruit you produce. Do people describe the fruit of your spirit as being clothed in grace, kindness, humbleness, or love? Or do people describe the fruit of your spirit as being selfish, rotten, unkind, or evil? If “Yes” was your answer to the latter, toss the stone down onto the ground, and let’s talk.
The sole purpose of this conversation is to remove the veil of ignorance from our eyes, not to point fingers. If we truly desire to render bullying ineffective we can no longer afford to be disengaged with reality, it will require each and every one of us to choose to look within with an honest and humble heart. This is a statement of certainty.
Submitting to this truth may not reach everyone’s heart for the reason that it is much easier to lay the blame at someone else’s doorstep but we must be honest, bullying is a learned behavior and like many learned behaviors, it often begins in the home. The good news is that bullying can be stopped with honest and open communication along with positive reinforcement.
About The Author
Jabar, writer and youth advocate from St. Louis Missouri, is the author behind a series of positive YA fiction books for troubled teens and at-risk youth available on Amazon.com.