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.
- Bill to stop workplace bullies (theage.com.au)
- Bullying, the Buzz Word of the Moment (thekimberlydiaries.com)