I read an article at Clashdaily.com that dealt with an issue that has been in the news a lot recently, bullying. Here is an excerpt:
Here is what I’ve learned over the years about handling bullies from my brothers, my father, John Frycek and the bullies. And I’m grateful to them all and dad was right, I even made friends with some of them after we “settled” things. The best anti-bullying campaign is R-A-G-E! And it stands for:
Readiness – You must be prepared to the best of your ability to defend yourself. This is half the deterrent already because bullies prey on the weak and the vulnerable. They look for an easy mark so don’t become one. Relying on a teacher, a principal or a parent to talk sense into a bully or his parents, will rarely work. There’s a reason that he’s a bully and, like a savage, a bully only responds to force. Most bullies will only get more aggravated and aggressive at the “I’m Telling” defense and simply spring their trap outside of the school grounds and on their turf. Running from bullies will set you on a life’s path of capitulation and you’ll end up either an emasculated shell of a man or worse … French!
Attitude – You have to cultivate the frame of mind that will take you from fear to righteous indignation. Don’t allow yourself to be a victim. Bullying is outrageous, so let your rage out. “Steve is between me and happiness.” You don’t have to win but you do have to leave a mark – leave several. Pain and consequences are secondary. Rage on behalf of everyone this bully has had his way with. You will be respected and people will respond to you, and the odds are you’ll only have to do it once. Victims, however, will constantly be hounded no matter how many times they change schools or move.
Guts – There is no substitute for a balled up fist backed by righteous indignation – just ask the money-changers. At some point, you have to pull the pin. As the Duke said in The Shootist, “I won’t be wronged. I won’t be insulted. I won’t be laid a-hand on. I don’t do these things to other people, and I require the same from them.” When the shove comes, swing, don’t talk!
Empathy – Standing up to bullies doesn’t stop on your front porch. Don’t allow it to happen to your neighbor. This is the golden rule and The Good Samaritan all wrapped in one. Tell me, do you really believe that The Good Samaritan would have reasoned with the robbers if he found them as they were beating the man on the Jericho road? I imagine he would have taken out his three-corded whip and “turned the tables”!
The story that precedes that excerpt is pretty heartwarming and is well worth the read: http://clashdaily.com/2013/10/r-g-e-parsons-four-step-anti-bullying-campaign/
With all the public service announcements you see on television nowadays concerning bullying in school you would think that the best way to stop bullying is to run away and tell a teacher.
That has the same effect as giving a man a fish instead of teaching him to fish. It may stop a bully for a moment but teachers are not always around and now the bullying will be intensified. Being ratted out can get a bully pretty worked up.
My father told me when dealing with a bully, “you can run away…but you’ll always be running.”
That’s the point nowadays that people seem to miss. We have so coddled and cajoled our children that we have castrated their ability to stand up for themselves. We have neutered their ability to take a punch in the face for a righteous cause and we have hamstrung them by making them believe they don’t have to solve their own problems, that someone else will always be around to do the heavy lifting.
No wonder an entire generation has grown into thinking they are entitled to things while avoiding the hard work it takes to get there. If you are taught you don’t need to stand up for yourself as a child, why would you think you would need to stand up for yourself as an adult?
Every bully I ever knew was only a bully to those who would not fight back. Don’t get me wrong, you don’t even have to WIN the fight, but just the willingness to stand up and make the price on the bully SOMETHING is usually enough to make him look for softer targets.
It is like gun free zones. Those are places that people go to commit crimes because they know no one is able to fight back. So too does the bully go to those who will not fight back. Why would bullies bully someone who is going to punch them in the face at least once every time when they can just go to those who won’t fight at all?
That is where R.A.G.E comes into play.
Kids should be taught to be ready to defend themselves because there are times when no one else will. Yet also temper that with the lesson of not looking for trouble.
Righteous indignation should be instilled in children to know that some things should not stand. Namely being bullied but also allowing others to be bullied.
Courage is not the absence of fear but rather the overcoming of it. Standing up to a bully may be scary but kids should be taught (acknowledgement to the Bene Gesserit of Dune) that fear is the mind killer, it is the little death that brings total obliteration. The minute you start letting fear dictate your life is the moment your life starts getting smaller. Fear, in it’s own way is the world’s biggest bully.
And finally doing the right thing selflessly is a great foundation for children to learn. A slight play on the Golden Rule: Do not let happen to others what you would not want to happen to you.
These are the lessons the good man should teach his son (or daughter). Either we raise a generation who will stand for what is right and we raise a generation who will never stop running away.