People have all sorts of beautiful differences and always there seem to be people who, instead of celebrating those differences, want everyone to look, act, and think only one way. Anyone who doesn’t meet their standards of supposed perfection becomes a target.
Blend, hide, run, lie
live to see another day
Nobody stops the bottomless monsters
who feed on blood and tears
and thrive on misery
Their words leave scars
that threaten the spark of sunrise
And the choice has to be
the scars of oppression
or the scars of battle
by Christina Lynn Lambert
Bullies, whether they are star students, amazing athletes, model citizens, career supertars, they are all weak and they are terrified beyond measure of their weakness. The most valuable skills they feel they possess are those that allow them to find ways to hurt others. Anybody could obtain power by taking advantage of others and terrifying people into subservience, but that doesn’t make it right.
Bullies are clever. Often they smile for observers but there’s an ugliness within these oppressors, driving them to find and exploit any difference they can within a person, to dig until they’ve left marks. Blood, tears, and sorrow are fuel for bullies. They feed their empty souls on the misery they cause others.
One who must derive pleasure at the expense of others deserves a fair amount of compassion and pity because who knows what awful circumstances caused a bully to need to live such a pathetic, soul-stealing existence. But compassion should never be mistaken for permission.
Schools often preach the empty “zero tolerance for bullies” policy then ignore tortured students, telling them things like, “I didn’t see it happen,” or “there’s no evidence. Little John or Jane is a nice kid, so they couldn’t have done such a thing.” Scars of the ignored deepen and misery compounds. The people who should have helped turn away and busy themselves with another task, sweeping the problem under the rug.
Bullies don’t magically stop their horrible behavior after graduating high school. Instead, they get jobs, serve on boards, head up committees, become politicians. They work their way into positions of power and use their authority to rule like dictators and terrorize everyone who doesn’t fall in line.
It takes less time to listen than it does to pick up the shattered pieces of the human spirit. It takes strength to resist the loud persistent call to assimilate into a fearful mob.
We can hide under a fear mongering boss, or friend, or leader, or we can pull everyone who needs our help into shelter and safety, regardless or race, religion, lifestyle choice, or socio-economic status.
We can stand up or we can hide. I have seen bullies break people and I have seen broken people rise. Our differences don’t matter. Our humanity does. Infinitely so.