Saturday, November 11, 2017

Will we ever stop bullies?

Eleven year old Toni Rivers went home after school and ended her life. She had been bullied repeatedly, and reached her breaking point. Her death is more tragic in that it might have been prevented. People are demanding a stop to bullying.
I am taking the opposite approach. I do not think it is possible to prevent bullying. It is prevalent in the animal world. Spend a few hours around a flock of chickens and see how tolerant that species is. If Toni had been a chicken, she might well have been pecked to death. Some animals are territorial. They stake their claim, mark it, and fight, some times to the death defending it against intrusion by their own species. Other species gather into flocks or herds. There is always a leader, a boss, whether you want to look at elephants or cattle, it is the way of animals, and we, humans, are animals.
Toni was bullied. Some of us do not fit in. Many kids feel like they don't fit in. That does not mean we don't have a place or a purpose in life. Feelings of inferiority are something we all deal with. When a kid feels bullied, some times the answer is to separate them from the group, but often that only increases the problem.
Toni didn't die because of a bully, she died because no one showed her that she was a valuable person. She did not grasp her self worth. Christians believe that they have value in the eyes of GOD.
The tone of the conversation in recent years has shifted. The liberal activists talk about micro aggressions. Every word becomes an insult when you have guilt in your heart. Every thing becomes bullying if the recipient finds offense. It does not matter if offense was intended.
When that is the mindset, we cannot stop people from becoming offended. Instead, whet needs to happen is for people to teach their kids to value themselves, but also to be tough. Remember the old saying, Stick and stones may break my bones but whips and chains excite me. Oops, wrong one, words can never harm me.
Humanity has a pecking order. Most of us are pretty low on the chain. Right now the top dog is not a limp wristed dark skinned half white arab. Life isn't fair. Most of us were not born with a silver spoon. That does not mean we don't have worth. Teaching kids that they have worth won't end bullying, but it might end meaningless suicides.