Wednesday, December 7, 2011

-11- On Bullying

Have you ever been bullied? Have you suffered from mean words from someone whom you couldn't hit back, from day to day, and could do nothing about it? That pain and injustice that you felt, it was felt by me as well... So let's all collectively cry out against the bullies of the world. They're just terrible terrible people and should all sit in the corner.

Just kidding. What am I, twelve? I don't understand the whole bullying issue that's so important now. You call someone stupid over the internet - cyber bullying. You get videotaped stealing someone's lunch - regular bullying. You call someone a fag, and god forbid they're gay - that's a hate crime. Now there are problems with hating people because of their sex, stealing someone's food, or calling someone stupid on the internet. But it isn't bullying. It's just being a mean bastard, and that just runs in our blood. It's not bullying that is this prevalent injustice of the world, it's a natural trait we have, that for some reason hasn't died out yet. 

I don't want to analyze bullying for now though. If I did, though, it'd come down to this. "Bullying exists because it was necessary for survival." Obviously if it didn't, there wouldn't be bullying, because as a trait it would put the person at a disadvantage for survival.

The funny thing about bullying is that both the bully, and the bullied, (Or rather person A, person B, because bully is such a kid term), are pretty much the same people. One's bigger than the other, big whoop. Collective bullying is different, but I'll get to that later. One on one bullying is rare, but collective bullying starts from one on one bullying. And I've had this case before, so let me tell you how it works.

This was elementary school, and a fat kid (oh, sorry, " an obese gentleman") named Edwin would constantly pick on me because I was skinny. It was terrible, because he wouldn't stop, and it would always ruin my day somehow. I wasn't quite the cool kid, but in general, this was a very mild case of bullying. I'd raise my hand and he'd call me a nerd or a fag, and I'd feel a little bad, throw a spitball at him. Sometimes he tried to steal my lunch, sometimes I stole his lunch right back. I guess I was a promiscuous little bastard because bullying me wouldn't be an easy challenge. I know it's not the same for everyone, but bear with me. That guy still pissed me off. And when one day, my friend told me I should just jump him, I seriously considered it. Edwin was walking down the street, or rather, rolling (which would mean that as a hater, I would be hating), and my friend and I (my friend being the considerably bigger one of the two), saw him and decided, what the hell, let's kick his ass. But then he saw us coming, and he got scared and ran. That's when I stopped. The whole point was that I was the bullied one, and I was supposed to feel scared. I didn't, because I was stupid, and thus ruined the deal. Furthermore, I made the bully scared, and that just ruined everything for me. I wasn't the bully, you know? And turning the tables isn't my thing, because I just didn't care. The point being, in one on one bullying, what matters to keep in mind is that the other person, bigger, smarter, stupider, meaner, fatter, skinnier, is still a person, and if the tables have turned, everything would be just the same. You either step away, (or run away really fast, or switch to a scooter or something), or you keep playing the game. It doesn't matter either way because you're just two kids.

In group bullying, which I've... also had, I guess, things are a little different. It's basically the same case but with two or three Edwins involved (substitute your bully's name here). But it's not just the bullies, you got the people who aren't really bullying but are just tagging along because they have nothing better to do. That's the problem though, because you never know which ones are which. Of course since there are more people involved, you're more likely to get hurt. And that really sucks, because getting hurt is a problem. Even if it's just a black eye, people will make a big deal, and it will look horrible. If it's a big deal, then you've got other problems, like bad injuries that will get more attention, and stuff. Basically group bullying comes with a whole lot of problems, and very few solutions. Mine was just to shrug it off. Fitting in wasn't really important for me (Then again, once everyone confirmed that I was the asshole, I reflexively confirmed everyone else as an asshole, so everything went downhill from there). I know it's different for other people. "I wish I was just like the other kids!" seems to be everyone's motto (which is funny, because nobody's really all that different. Yeah, everyone says that they're unique, but like... in general, not really. My experience was that group bullying gets tiring for the group. It's fun for like a few weeks, maybe they can push it for a month or so, but really, it's exhausting.

Now as for bullying, I've had that too. I was involved in group bullying actually, with my then best friend, and we bullied the retarded kid in seventh grade. It wasn't because he was really retarded (he wasn't), it was because he acted really stupid. We were playing handball, and he'd catch the ball and roof it, or throw it somewhere else. What the hell kind of a behavior was that? I wasn't into violence, but I figured there was an exception. My friend and I walked up to him, asked him politely to come with us, and kicked the shit out of him. Pretty soon after that, the exception became the rule, and whenever he did something stupid, we'd rough him up. I don't mean we hit him pretty hard, (because that's also tiring), we'd just make him feel bad. There was no taunting involved either. Coming up with clever ways to call someone a loser is also tiring (there's the pressure of repeating yourself involved). Anyway, the point is, being the bully doesn't make you the winner. In fact, now that I think back on it, I shouldn't have done it because it was just dumb. I never really apologized, nor do I really care. I did what I did, and that's the end of that. The point is, when I was a bully, i didn't feel like a winner. It just doesn't matter.

So to conclude, there's no solution to the bullying problem, partly because it's insignificant. I know some people have gotten really hurt and that's terrible, but I'm not generalizing here. What I'm saying is simple; if you think of bullying as an insignificant problem, it will become insignificant. You feed stupid people by taking their stupidity seriously, and if you just stop and think about it (and I'm sure few of us indulge in this very often), suddenly it seems different. 

If anything, there's always a last resort - provide the bully with a new target.

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