Odds and Sods – Late Night Early Morning Musings

Physical bullying at school, as depicted in th...

Physical bullying at school, as depicted in the film Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It’s 3:30 am and here I sit wide awake.  Yesterday the boys and I headed off to Kitchener to meet my SIL and her 3 grandchildren at one of the city’s museums.  There was a special area set up for Circus themes and activities which included high wire walking for the children.  We waited.  In line.  For almost 2 hours.  Each child after being strapped from stem to stern with safety wires and harnesses had the opportunity to walk the high wire and we quickly figured that the wait would be about 5 minutes per child in line.  That meant of course that 12 children equaled a 60 minute wait and the adventures therein were many but that will have to wait for another post.

The point is that by the time I got home I was exhausted, stiff, and sore.  The day was tons of fun so it was worth it, but I knew when I got home I would want to sleep so I kept moving, puttering about here and there and finally gave in to a couple of glasses of fermented grapes and a little TV.  I finally surrendered to the sandman way too early, but oh my, it did feel good to slip between those sheets and head off to the land of nod, just to wake bright and early – well the bright part is me as it is still dark outside my window- thinking great thoughts, and pondering all things ponderable.

I noticed more brave little stories on FB about bullying and an article about Charlie Sheen on yet another rant, this time about his daughter being bullied, and this got me to thinking about this way too sensitive subject.  And from that pondering came questions.

Where will the heroes of tomorrow find their brave?  So many outstanding people suffered some form on bullying or rejection (which seems to somehow have become equalized to bullying) and in doing so became braver, became stronger. They became our leaders, our artists, our models for success.

Strength, I have heard, comes from Adversity.  Are we removing or trying to remove all adversity for the younger generations?  And in doing so are we making their future more difficult?

Are we over defining bullying?  When does a taunt between children playing become bullying?  The lines have become blurred.  I can clearly see brutality, which I think is a more accurate word than bullying, which ends in child suicides and torturous lives, and should have far more severe consequences than it seems to.  But where do we draw the line?  How will anyone learn to ‘suck it up’ and carry on?

When I was a child there were lessons to be learned; Life is not fair, some people are jerks who will be hurtful and the challenge was not in negating hurt but recognizing it and becoming stronger because of it.

I fear that because of the extreme cases of brutality we are going too far in teaching our children to cry ‘poor me’ in less severe situations, instead of teaching them to stand up, be strong and understand the reality of the world.  The reality is that in spite of our great hue and cry against brutality (bullying) there still continues to be bullies and there still will continue to be bullies in the future.

George Carlin and Dean Koontz have both expressed, one on stage and one in fiction, that when we over protect our children we are doing them a disservice.  They cannot become immunized against adversity because we do not allow them to experience adversity.  Is that what we are doing in this situation?

You see, I applaud anti-bullying programs.  We have more situations when groups of people, particularly students are standing up as a group against bullying. That is a good thing.  There are all kinds of education on recognizing when bullying takes place, stopping the act of bullying, and denouncing it publically, but I have yet to see a program that teaches us the reality of the how and the why of it and coping.  It just seems that we are so busy with the ‘buzz word’ of it all, that we are failing to carry through with the successful coping of it all.

 

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5 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Trackback: I Don’t Know What Parallel Universe I just stepped out of but… | bridgesburning
  2. Lenore Diane
    Mar 17, 2013 @ 14:12:48

    Wow. I never thought about it from your viewpoint, Chris. What you wrote makes a great deal of sense. Coping skills – true coping skills – are learned when one is pushed to the limit and/or challenged. How does one learn to cope when everything is soft corners and padded walls?
    Great post.

    Reply

  3. Chatter Master
    Mar 16, 2013 @ 19:46:22

    I love your brilliance Chris. I only wish many would read this.

    Reply

  4. kateshrewsday
    Mar 16, 2013 @ 11:20:22

    Chris, I couldn’t agree more. Old fashioned adversity forms us, and you express it so well. Sometimes, life sucks. I think we as adults are over-involved in our children’s happiness; we protect them from so much and I wonder whether we aren’t really protecting ourselves. For one of the crosses of parenthood is watching those we love and cherish suffer, and none of us like pain. We will do anything, these days, to avoid the pain of watching our children rejected. But it’s life, and as you say, it’s how they, and we, grow. I’m so glad I read this post today. Thank you for writing it.

    Reply

  5. Crowing Crone Joss
    Mar 16, 2013 @ 07:47:02

    the thing that has always struck me about school is that it is the only time in our life when we spend our entire day in the company of our peers. Imagine a workplace where everyone in the company was the same age. I don’t think it would work well. And that doesn’t address the topic of bullying, really. kind of a non-sequitor really. but perhaps not.
    I recently heard a mother tell the grandmother “don’t tell my kid he is “so smart”. It makes him feel you have high expectations of him. sigh. Things seem very topsy turvy in our world, don’t they?

    Reply

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