Please someone pinch me so I wake up from this nightmare where bullies are at every turn, hurting other kids to the point where they commit suicide. How about the grown up bullies on motorcycles that attack poor motorists in front of their families? And what about those bullies in Washington, denying paychecks to the military while they themselves get paid?
Please tell me that it’s all just a bad dream. Bullies have been around since time began. We have all experienced those self-important people pushing the weaker, more timid around. I can still remember the taunting boys at the bus stop and rejoiced the day I learned how to walk to school on my own so I could avoid them! But for Rebecca Ann Sedwick, the nightmare never ended even after her parents took her out of the school. Sheriff Grady Judd of Polk County found the post on Facebook so offensive that he proceeded to have the two girls arrested rather than continue to gather evidence. The post claimed the girl knew that she had bullied Rebecca who had killed herself, and she didn’t care. So what kind of desensitized youth are we raising? Sherriff Judd’s message to parents is for them to take the cell phone away, stop being a friend and start being a parent.
For our motorist attacked by a motorcycle gang after a supposed ‘accident’ at least it was all recorded to the point that an undercover policeman was suspended for allowing the situation to progress to that violent stage. At least we can take comfort in the fact that the profusion of electronic media can also be a help to the public at times.
If bullies have always existed, why are we suffering their wrath when we live in a democracy which guarantees the rights of all citizens? It is a paradox, surely that in the land of the free, no one is brave enough to stand up to these people. Today we pose the question: who are they? Who are these bullies that torture innocent people and are they US?
Have you ever forced an issue with someone you knew was unable to defend themselves properly? Did you take advantage of your dexterity whether physical or verbal in an assault on a lesser opponent? Then you could be considered a bully too. As we search our hearts and minds, we have to recognize that intimidation is used by persons in authority or those who put themselves in authority. If you are using these methods to get your point across, or to get your way, then your personal brand is one of a bully. Not so nice is it, thinking of yourself as a bully when maybe you thought you were being acceptably assertive. Communication goes two ways; there is a sender and a receiver. If the receiver perceives the message to be an offensive one, by its tonality or language, then the sender is an aggressor.
We need to choose how we will interact with the world. Will we push every interaction to make sure we win? We can end up being someone others avoid because we’re just too much trouble. We can we try coming to a compromise for the greater good. We know that courtesy is a dying habit yet it’s a fact that people react better to questions asked in a neutral tone of voice. How far do we need to push to get our way? There is a kinder way to interact with our fellow inhabitants of our planet. Perhaps we can make that way the hallmark of our personal brand.