Don’t hold your breath; that’s not going to happen.
Bullies aren’t going away. They never have, and they never will.
October is Anti Bullying Awareness Month and I think that it’s a good thing. Too often, bullied children feel isolated and alone. They feel like they have no one to talk to or confide in.
I applaud those who are calling attention to the problem and offering support and encouragement to those on the receiving end.
However, no amount of awareness or attention will put an end to bullying.
Bullies come in all sizes, ages, shapes, colors and nationalities, but they have one thing in common. They lift themselves up by stepping on others.
Think of men like Hitler, Saddam Hussein, Qadafy, Bin Laden. What were they if not extremely powerful bullies?
Think of gang-bangers. What are they, if not bullies with guns?
Think of people who file malicious lawsuits. What are they, if not bullies with lawyers?
Think of “road rage” and aggressive drivers. What are they, if not bullies with cars?
I could go on, but you get the point.
Bullies are everywhere, and most of us will run into them at one point or other in our lives. The bullies most of us will encounter are everyday people who need to put others down in order to exalt themselves.
There will always be people like that.
You might not like it—I certainly don’t—but that’s life.
To stop bullying entirely you’d have to change human nature, and I don’t believe that’s possible.
Does that mean we don’t try to change things? No, it doesn’t.
What it does mean is that we must approach the problem of bullying with the understanding that it is fundamentally a heart problem. Ultimately, bullying isn’t a result of a bad parenting or a poor environment, although those things can certainly help create a bully.
The Old Testament book of Jeremiah best summarizes the problem: “The heart is hopelessly dark and deceitful, a puzzle that no one can figure out” (Jeremiah 17:9, The Message).
We live in a fallen world, full of fallen, broken people.
We’ll never stop bullying entirely, because the problem is endemic to the human race.
So, what do we do about it?
We’ll talk about that over the next two weeks.
Image #1 Credit: © fasphotographic – Fotolia.com
Image #2 Credit: ©AlexandreNunes – Fotolia.com