It’s interesting how we can get our viewing tools mixed up.
Sometimes we look at something through a microscope, when really we need a tool that can capture a great deal of area, like a wide-angle lens.
Sometimes we use a wide lens or even a telescope when a microscope is required.
We hear a lot about bullying these days. It’s become a very common topic and one that many are keen to weigh in on.
Young children bullying others at school, in the neighborhood or in playgrounds are common concerns for many parents.
By middle school and certainly high school things have often escalated. Now the attacks aren’t only verbal or physical but technological too.
We have too often heard stories about cyber bullying and some of the dire consequences that can and do occur.
Schools apparently have protocols to deal with these situations and so too does the law in many places. Yet still the problem continues and mean seems to grow and fester.
I believe that children, young people and even many adults simply repeat what they see.
If others are “doing it” or if it’s commonly practiced then soon “it” will be seen as acceptable, desirable and even cutting edge behavior.
The problem with bullying has nothing whatsoever to do with children, schoolyards, playgrounds or computers. It has, unfortunately, everything to do with how those in positions of authority conduct themselves.
Wherever there is a clear difference in the power between individuals or groups we must be vigilant of the message sent and the reality of the practice.
Some parents bully children.
Some partners bully each other
Some siblings bully other siblings
Some teachers bully students
Some employers bully employees
Some police bully the public
And certainly some, politicians bully those under their care.
Aggressive, mean, hostile behavior is often the flavor of the day.
Our games, television shows and movies are full of it and our daily lives reflect it.
Until we can learn to speak with each other, listen, and negotiate and until we want to set a different tone and seek a new outcome, bullying amongst the young will only be a symptom of a much larger, deeper problem.
Put away the microscope here and have a look at the bigger picture.