Thursday, November 17, 2011

Manufactured Bullies

Recently I heard about three separate cases of bullying at local schools. The children involved were male and female; the schools were public and parochial; the grades were 4th, 6th, and 8th. 

Why so much bullying? It's all about power.

As we see in the media, power is everything. Reality show contestants bully one another, politicians attack one another, sports figures trash-talk. We allow all this into our homes and let our children watch it thereby giving tacit approval to the behavior. We may even bully our children ourselves in an attempt to force certain conduct or beliefs on them.

In short, we are communicating, in so many ways, that it is OK to be a bully. Bullies achieve wealth, power and the respect of others. Bullies get their own TV shows. Bullies become rich and famous.

Our children become what we teach them to be.  They do not pop out of the womb anxious to be bullies. We have bullies because we, as a society, create them. 

Next time you watch television or personally comment on a topic, give some thought to who is in the room with you. Is your child about to learn that being mean is how one gets on TV? Will your child discover that being cruel is a good thing because you are that way yourself?

Every time certain housewives or politicians are on, I cringe over their lack of respect for one another and their willingness to wound one another. These demonstrations of bad behavior might garner great ratings and even provide a laugh or two.  But at what cost?

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