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Can bullying ever be stopped?

Unfortunately, and to my real dismay, I think the genuine answer to that question is always going to be no.

As a child I, like thousands of others, was bullied by bigger and older kids. I often went to school with a knot in my stomach and when I saw a kid I knew was going to give me an issue, I would physically feel sick. So it really bothers me when I hear about stories of children who are bullied.
And it concerned me considerably when I heard the other day about a bunch of thugs on a New York school bus that bullied 68 year old bus monitor Karen Klein. The video was absolutely disgusting.

Over many years, I’ve tried to understand what makes a bully tick. The one thing that seems to be true is that you can’t reason with a bully because bullies don’t think in a rational way. Bullies don’t get pleasure in the way normal people do. Instead, they get their pleasure from inflicting pain and hurt on others. They want to demonstrate to themselves, and to any others watching, that they are better than you. The way in which they do this is through the public humiliation and degradation of others. Put simply, the only way they can feel good about themselves is through hurting others.

Who knows what drives them. Perhaps the bullies themselves are the victims of bullies. Perhaps there are issues at home that cause deep seated insecurities. Whatever the cause, bullying is not the right response. It’s inexcusable.

Bullying seems to be evolving rather than getting less prevalent. Now bullies use the internet and social media to torment their victims. I applaud the efforts to stop bullying through recent anti cyber bullying legislation. And we can never give up trying to stop this evil issue. But it is an issue that no matter how hard we try, we will never completely stamp out. Unfortunately, it’s an inherent part of human nature to bully and victimize others, a fact that has been demonstrated, to horrible extremes, throughout history. As Robert Burns said in 1784, “Man’s inhumanity to man; Makes countless thousands mourn”.

So what is the answer?

We can never accept bullying in any format. Be vigilant with your children. Talk to them and make sure they are ok if they seem withdrawn or nervous to go to school. Take the bullying issue seriously and deal with it seriously. Talk to the school or talk to the police if necessary. Don’t ignore the issues of bullying.

We may never be able to get rid of bullying completely, but the best way to deal with this horrible issue is to ensure it is never seen as being acceptable.

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One Response to ““Man’s inhumanity to man””

  1. I think this is such a serious issue in our schools.
    It’s something that is finally being taken seriously!
    It’s important to keep the lines of communicaiton open with our children. We must make it clear to them that they should never torlerate being bullied. They should know that it’s ok for them to ask for help from heir teacher or parent.
    I agree that we will never rid our world of bullying but we can make an effort to help our children deal with it in a proactive way.

    Reply

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