Some Thoughts On Bullying 

Travelling always provides release from the realities of normal existence, and as a result, with some reflection comes some clarity. Hence yesterday’s post, and now this one. 

With greater access to one another through a myriad of technological options, it seems people feel more disconnected than ever. 

Social media is rarely a realistic or completely honest appraisal of someone’s life; how can so few words and pictures provide a holistic overview? Even blogs are constructed texts for the most part, deliberately formulated to achieve a specific purpose. And I think that because we can connect so easily from our lounge chair, we have stopped or reduced our real face to face connections. 

My purpose in outlining this is that there are many who feel disconnected, who can’t engage in real connection, either online or face to face. Who feel vulnerable and alone. And the online world has distorted some people’s perceptions of a broader, as well as a more focused reality.  

Man, I really struggle for words sometimes lol.  This is unedited but constructed. I think that’s why I’m struggling with the words. 

I have been bullied in my life. I daresay that most people by the time that they are middle aged have been on the receiving end in some way. I have been bullied in the work place. 

As a child I was a mother hen and had balls of steel so if I was bullied I was oblivious because I was too preoccupied protecting others. Interestingly, I believed that I could take it so I would divert a bully’s antagonism towards myself. As an adult I question whether this actually says more about my own sense of my own value than anything else. But, moving forward … 

😜

The bullying I endured was relentless. People witnessed it and said nothing. We seem to believe that if we poke the bull they will turn to us instead. And this is probably true, but united we can conquer all. Another tangent. Sigh. 

I survived. But I haven’t forgotten. And I don’t want to ever experience it again. 

Interestingly though, workplace bullying seems rife. And not just in education (even though the irony is not lost on me). And it makes me question why. 

Disconnection. Growing levels of social instability. Increasing frequency of mental illness. Control. Greed. Power. 

And often, victims become perpetrators. It makes no sense to this hippie’s ideals. None at all. It makes more sense in the world of kids, struggling to find their place in the world and trying to make sense of the broken world we have bequeathed. 

Adults are supposed to know better. 

We are supposed to be compassionate and able to divorce our ego from our responses. We are supposed to take the time to process, look at the bigger picture, feel secure within  ourselves, and then rationally resolve conflict. But rarely does this happen. And everyone loses power as a result. 

And I am left shaking my head. 

As a union rep over many years, I have seen a lot of the power struggle between adults. Senseless conversations that achieve nothing.  There is never a winner; everyone loses something. 

And I think this is unnecessary. 

If adults had the confidence to shed their skins and reveal their souls, conflict would be resolved without any party sacrificing anything. There could be a union of souls and minds, rather than petty power conflict. 

But that requires a leap of faith, and confidence that the esteem is strong enough to cope with stepping out of the comfort zone to speak one’s own truth and embrace another’s. In a mutually beneficial way. In a safe place. 

And most adults are afraid to do that. 

Sadly.

Because the kids are watching. And they know what is going on. And they know that we are setting the parameters for what is possible. 

And sadly, it isn’t much. 

And when people feel genuine fear of the consequences of baring their soul, or fighting for what is right, or standing with those that are disenfranchised, how can we model appropriate behaviour for kids. 

Oh this is a jumbled post and I apologise. What a contentious issue. And what a ghastly reality. For too many people. Kids and adults alike. 

I’ve been reading the Department of Education’s policy documents. I just think it is so dreadfully sad that there is a policy for the  resolution  of complaints, a policy that ensures no successful outcome. Because at its core it sets one party against the other. There is no encouragement for honest and soulful mediation. 

Beyond the surface issues, there is always a deeper issue. For both parties. 

If only we could manifest policy that targeted that, the real issue, the real source, the real hurt. 

If only … 

What a different world this would be, and what a different week would lie ahead for me. 

Peace. Genuinely. 

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