“One’s dignity may be assaulted, vandalized and cruelly mocked, but it can never be taken away unless it is surrendered.” ― Michael J. Fox
Bullying is the one thing I absolutely detest more than the devil, rape or murder, with its vast psychological and varying physical consequences. Bullying has been in existence for years, where the strong prey on the seemingly weak, abusing them physically, verbally, emotionally and so on. Many see it as the strong preying on the weak, but I see it as the weak preying on the potentially strong because it only takes a weak person to use demeaning others to feel strong. Yes, I said what I said because why in the world will anyone look at another person, minding their business, living life the best way they can, and decide: ‘I want to destroy that person simply because I can’. No rhyme or logical reason, just a deplorable passion to humiliate and degrade another to the point of death. This line of thinking will never be understood by me or any sane and rational person.
Over the years I and others like me have definitely come across heartbreaking articles describing the intentional, slow and systematic harm of others by self-indulgent bullies in society at various levels; primary, secondary, tertiary, professionally and even relationship-wise. I have also heard of drastic and dramatic faith-based bullying. All are different levels of bullying that have caused, cause and will cause trauma to all those at the receiving end. So, let’s get right into it, shall we?
“For a time, I had this thought ‘What if anyone or anything had tried to help me?’ Maybe a friend or a god. Even the weather, maybe. If not, then a sharp weapon.” – Moon Dong Eun
According to statpearls.com “Bullying is a very common, complex and potentially damaging form of violence among children and adolescents. Bullying is defined as unwanted, aggressive behaviour, which involves a real or perceived social power imbalance. The behaviour is repeated, or has the potential to be repeated, over time (therefore, the definition excludes occasional or minor incidents)”.
These actions are purposeful and intended to hurt or make the victim uncomfortable. Here they are mostly talking about the direct victims affected. Here is a question I will pose to you: doesn’t bullying affect everyone, even the onlookers, the family members, and the society as a whole, not just the victim (s) themselves?
To better explain the dangers, let me highlight its correlation to being a widespread virus that must be stopped at all costs: victim gets bullied; victim is afraid to speak; the bullying continues; the bullying becomes unbearable; suicide happens; family is shocked; family is destroyed.
Person gets bullied; a fight ensues; emotional blackmail and one-sided agreement against the victim occurs; trauma sets in; victim become violent; victim fights back and injures or kills bully; victim and oppressors’ family get destroyed by the act itself; the judiciary has no choice in not seeing it as self-defense; even if it is, the victim is sentenced to jail for years or life.
Victim gets bullied; becomes the oppressor to be free from bullies (if you cannot beat them, join them…right? Wrong!); bullies others and becomes a bully pro max; cycle repeats with more people spreading.
A vicious cycle of loss, hate, unresolved feelings, destroyed bonds, lost hope, a sense of nothingness and the emptiness of humanity follows. So many never realise the weight of their actions, words and, sometimes, silence. It could literally be the death of someone or people, depending on the mindset of both victim and oppressor.
“If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor. If an elephant has its foot on the tail of a mouse, and you say that you are neutral, the mouse will not appreciate your neutrality.”― Desmond Tutu
Changing the Mindset
“Knowing what’s right doesn’t mean much unless you do what’s right.”
― Theodore Roosevelt
Have you watched ‘The Glory’? It is a modern-day Korean drama, a.k.a. kdrama (yes, you’d already have established I have a very healthy relationship with all things Asian and the dramas are no exception) Let me give you a little insight into ‘The Glory’. This modern-day suspense- filled drama focuses on the extreme dangers of bullying and the possible lengths people will go to in seeking revenge. It is the story of a young and much traumatised Moon Dong Eun who is viciously bullied by her peers, molested and scarred with a hot curling iron which was used on her almost every day. Look, the cruelty these kids dished out deserves its own special section in hell. Well, even the devil might not want them to taint hell this bad. So, these kids went as far as persuading a teacher to support them, get the school nurse fired for being against them and supporting Moon Dong Eun, bribing Moon’s mother to sell her out claiming she was a bad person, a student died, setting Moon on a righteous path of revenge – a dish served hot, defiantly hot at that.
Why am I talking about this kdrama? Here is the tea: effective use of the media as a brutally honest educational tool would be one of the keys in changing the mindset of potential bullies. Yes, I understand there are bullies already in practice, but imagine being able to curb future generations from such violent and deplorable behavior, not just by using the media but through formal education, where they are constantly taught that bullying is wrong. Coupled with appropriate consequences, I believe this type of deliberate sensitisation will aid in the eradication of such abhorrent behaviour.
“You’ve seen my scars before, right? Can you heal them?”
– Moon Dong Eun
People’s pain matters. It hurts my heart and mind to even think that people who bleed are capable of hurting others to the point of such baseless cruelty even demons in hell will turn to God for help. As someone who has experienced bullying, seen people experience it and hear some of the most gut-wrenching stories, I believe there should be consequences and punishment for one’s evil intentions towards another, especially if it leads to the person taking their life because of the unimaginable pain caused to them by another.
Below are a few suggestions that should be implemented for bullies:
*Jail time is especially for those who inflict physical injuries on others.
*Sanatorium stay of six weeks; I believe a sick mind should be cured.
*Public apology to those harmed as well as their families.
*Expulsion from school or place of work if found guilty.
*Those who are found culpable in supporting bullies, especially in educational institutions, are to be fired and given a month’s sanatorium stay.
*Compulsory mental health support meetings on curbing bad behaviour for three months.
We as people need to learn to do better, prevent and protect others from being harmed and ensure the mental as well as physical health of society as a whole. So I hope you understand that bullying, thou art revoked. Let each of us simply do our part to add a little light to the world each day. So, till next time, bye!