Friday, October 22, 2010

Bullying: Crime, or Rite of Passage?

Have a bullying problem? What we could use is more real father. With more "real fathers" there would be less talk of bullying, and indeed, less bullying. (Real fathers are the answer to many ills.) Real fathers are an immediate and lasting source of confidence in a child. The bullied child is most often the least confident child, and therefore, most bully-able. The bully, too, lacks confidence.

But even more "real fathers" will not end bullying; neither, will made-for-TV productions like the recently got-up "Anti-Bullying" campaign whose motto is, "Love is Louder." Nice, cute - won't work.

Bullying is a fact of life. Animals use it in their struggles to perpetuate their species. We do the same thing. Boys will bully boys whom either stand in their way of mating, or whom, by bullying they will enhance their chances. Girls, too, bully girls whom they instinctively sense is a threat to their reproductive chances. In other words, children who bully often do not know why they do it, except that it feels natural.

Of course, we humans must always strive to elevate ourselves above our baser instincts. (try telling that to a child).

Bullying could simply be a right of passage that serves a purpose. Being bullied teaches a child to devise survival strategies, like avoidance, or negotiating with, and outsmarting bullies; it teaches children the need, and art, of forming alliances.

No one wants their child to be bullied. But, at some point, we all have been there. Sometimes, we were even bullied by our friends, by our spouse, by our own brothers and sisters. Hey, tall plants bully short plants. C'est la vie!

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