This will not be your typical text but who cares…
Is there any other way of saying this? I think not! Bullies need to be stopped, every time, every day, without hesitation. Well, that is wishful thinking of course because reality rarely catches up to our hopes and dreams. Bullies are like, for lack of a better word, cancer; the more time you give them to flaunt their power, the more audacious they become. They dare more, they gain inches and their self esteem grows bigger and more aggressive.
I have heard countless of times people say, “this doesn’t concern me”, “it doesn’t matter to me” or the famous “it ain’t my business or my fight, they can do whatever they want”. The lack of solidarity always wounds my heart. The level of detachment that some people can display when their fellow human is in trouble, well, it irritates me to degrees I couldn’t describe.
Yes, you have adequately guessed it. Today’s subject is a personal one for me, perhaps the most personal yet. I was bullied as a kid, since I stood out by my appearance and I was the subject of a few disparaging comments and acts. I will not lie and say it was an everyday occurrence because it wasn’t. However, as any bullied person would tell you, it is an awful feeling. You feel dread, shame and bullies like an audience more than anything so they always bully you in front of a select audience. They love nothing more than to impose their power and dominance.
I despise bullies. They get no sympathy, love or understanding from me. Well, they didn’t get any for the longest time but now, I do try to be more analytical of the situation. Yet, as compassionate as I can be towards the perpetrators and whatever is plaguing their soul, my compassion is better spent as I worry about the victims. I cannot stand by while bullies beat on the defenseless. I hate that they go after those who won’t talk back or hit back but then again, that is a definition of a bully. A true bully never challenges themselves, they have a modus operandi and their preys are always carefully chosen, as to not fall into a trap and get humiliated themselves. A bully thrives on humiliation and they count on weaker people to never hit back and they also count on other people’s passivity, which is usually the general response.
Passivity means indifference, it rhymes with “minding your own business” but to the highest and cowardly degree. Some are even glad they are not the target of the bully’s torture; they are just happy someone else is paying the price instead of them. Moreover, and thank the Gods, bullies come in all sizes, shapes, skin color, age, gender, academic achievements, political leanings, financial status, religion, origin, etc. They are a greatly diverse group as the 45th president of the USA has shown us.
As I said before, I was bullied once upon a time. Since I am a half full cup kind of guy, I learned some immensely profound lessons. I quickly learned that words have no weight, that negotiations don’t work. I learned that bullying is about one person’s intent on imposing their dominance on the weak to feel important and superior. Talk is cheap as they say in the Bronx. A bully never talks much, they just berate, humiliate, insult, hit, abuse verbally, psychologically and physically, and just so you know, they never de-escalate, they can only escalate, and they sure do. I got bullied for a long time. I didn’t have any help. I did ask for some help, but it never came and today I am glad I had to take care of this myself.
I had to fight back or I was going to be bullied for ever. So I fought back. How does one fight back? Well, since words, prayers and love don’t work as effectively as one would hope, I started doing martial arts and I got stronger. I know it sounds silly and straight out of a bad 80’s movie but that is how it happened. Haven’t been bullied since, I wonder why…
My point is that bullies usually understand force and my way of fighting back isn’t necessarily a recommended tactic; I put bullies exactly through what they put others, I hurt them equally so they can feel what they have been inflicting on others. Now, I never hurt anyone physically, unless I am attacked and then I am required by my own set of values to defend myself. I mostly break them using words. You see, once you have been bullied, one of the many positive outcomes is that you learn how to read people. You watch them and since they bully you regularly, you start to understand their different moods and how they think. I have a master’s degree in that area, and I am working on my PhD. Moreover, I have a way with words that can make me a real nuisance because I will just talk and talk and talk and talk and talk…I have heard that can become annoying. Oh well!
My journey of dealing with bullies has brought me unto an unexpected place. As I was focused on making them pay, I forgot to think about the bullies’ humanity. Yes, they are human. They are people with feelings and a story, usually a sad one. The latter turned them into bullies today unless they are sociopaths in which case, there is no hope. I have come to realize that bullies are most often than not, insecure, hurt and scared individuals. They hurt others because they are being hurt by others themselves or because they are hurting inside. Compassion needs to be part of the solution, I admit it.
Yet, I know I am not a savior nor am I a vigilante, I will leave that to Jesus and Batman, two of the greatest fictional characters in history. I will always choose to cut the finger before gangrene spreads to the hand and then the arm and then the whole body. Whenever I will see a person bullying someone, I will go after them. I don’t care who they are, unless they have a gun (still love my life!). I want the bully to understand the pain and humiliation they are inflicting on others. I want them to feel that powerlessness, that despair of not having anyone coming to help. I know it is a valuable lesson. Life is full of consequences, action and reaction. So long as I breathe, I will go after a bully when I see one. I guess I am a vigilante, just slightly, without the physical violence, just the verbal punches, nothing more, nothing less. I ain’t into the “turn the other cheek” team.
Am I perpetuating the cycle of bullying by going after bullies? Some would say yes. I say no. Every person I have gone after (3 so far, quite a limited sample, I must agree) never bullied anyone again. Mathematically, that is a 100% conversion rate. It is flawless. I’ll stop gloating, until next time.
I am arrogant enough to tell you, whoever you are, if you ever bully someone in my presence, I am coming after you with the vengeance of a thousand tribes. And if you come after me or someone I love…I will break your fucking spirit with a fucking hammer. Stop bullying people, ok? Let’s just chill because I hate going after people. It is time I am never going to get back and I’d rather chill, sit on a bench and enjoy life. Let’s try to be as decent as we can, and I will try to not be mean when I go after bullies. I will go after them with love, whatever the fuck that means!
Just one man’s opinion.
Now, smile, don’t bully anybody and go on with your day.