It seems that wherever we gather groups of children and young people – at least in public schools – bullying finds a rich playground. Whether bullying may have roots in the types of organizations we create, in some inherent need of dominant types to exercise power over others, in a need to differentiate select children socially, or is just mean-spirited behavior is beyond my expertise, but I suspect actual causes and dynamics are well researched as bullying has become a topic of grave concern. I welcome education and insights from those of you who may have studied this issue.
What is important is that bullying creates suffering among our children and has led to tragic outcomes, leading many nations to take steps to put an end to it. In the U.S., October is National Anti-Bullying Month. I raise this issue because bullying is of vital concern to all parents of school-age children and everyone who cares about children and creating a healthy, happy future for our society.
If this issue speaks to you, I urge you to listen to your heart and contribute your talents to address the problem. In the U.S., you will find many resources here, including opportunities for advocacy. In Australia, here’s a resource on anti-bullying campaigns in specific states and territories.
Stepping back from the immediate issues facing children, the topic of bullying raises many fascinating questions about choice and happiness. For some, these questions may be complex indeed.
Bullying, as some of you well know, is hardly limited to the schoolyard or to young people. Most of us know adult bullies, and in this context I ask: does it take two to create the bully-victim relationship? As an adult, do you have choices that can change the dynamic, such as the social environment or the roles where bullying occurs? Does the bully get a kick out of a reaction? Would less reaction be as satisfying – or might it cause the bullying to escalate?
These are just a few issues that come to mind. Stick with me as I explore the reality of exercising The Choice in a world that is far from neat, tidy, or bully free. As always, I welcome your comments. What’s true for you?