Bullies are good for you.
The age of anti-bullying has arrived. Social pressure has stigmatized schoolyard bullies to the point of legislation. The 'love everyone crowd' has deemed school bullying a form of hate crime and are determined to stamp out the disgusting practice. School boards and administrators are clamoring to enact harsh punishment for the playground nuisance. Parents are demanding protection for their timid children.
It can be expected that the teaching of tolerance and compassion will be a good thing in a modern and caring society. An example for others to follow.
But can it?
It is this editor's opinion that being bullied when young helps a child navigate through a lifetime of adult bullying. It helps build the character to prosper in a negative environment. It is a valuable learning experience to counter the hard knocks of adult life.
Am I alone in feeling this way?
In my early years at school in England, bullying was part of every child's life. It was managed by school officials but not discouraged. This was at a time when on occasion, teachers beat kids with a stick. Beating was the ultimate deterrent prior to expulsion, but bullying of children, none the less. It now seems barbaric, but it did build character, did teach respect for authority without subservience, and strangely, did teach compassion for your fellow student by feeling his pain. Bullying and being bullied did not turn me into an uncaring monster, but I believe it made me a better person, better able to succeed in life.
Today we have disguised official bullying as justified punishment and frown on schoolyard bullying as a social scourge, when in fact it is the same.
Not all bullying is deemed unhealthy. It is who is doing the bullying that seems to make it acceptable. As adults, it would be difficult to function without the continuous threat of being bullied. By the good bullies, that is. Every kind of authority uses bullying techniques to demand compliance. The threat of something nasty happening is always the tool used to force submission. Parents start the bullying process at a young age so that by school the child has learned to behave or else. The problem kids are not the ones that were bullied by their parents but the ones who were not. After graduation, kids quickly become adults mainly because society bullies them into growing up. Drive safely, be on time for work, don't eat too much, give to charity, be fugal, be a good neighbor. If you don't act as society expects, you will be bullied until you do.
The world would be a terrible place if bullying in all of its forms were wiped out. Imagine if law enforcement could not bully people into compliance. Asking a bank robber to stop would not get much of a result. The threat of physical violence, even death, is a necessary evil. It is the type of bullying that we condone for the common good.
But what if bullying was completely eradicated until adulthood? What if the threat of violence was an unknown concept until you were faced with a policeman pointing a gun at you? How would you react to airport security? What about paying taxes?
So it seems, despite the rush to stamp out the concept of bullying in our schools, the early learning experience is likely to save us much grief in later years.
Bullying is not nice, but then a lot of life is not nice.
Lying is not nice, but if we were not exposed to it when young, all politicians would appear honest. Then where would we be.
Most of the world's premier learning establishments knew long ago of the benefits of bullying to their young students. They actively encouraged the older boys to bully and beat the newbees. At times the treatment was quite harsh, even to the point of physical damage, but the advantages were seen to outweigh the disadvantages. Some of the greatest men in history were educated under such conditions. America will be facing a disadvantage in the world if it eradicates bullying and becomes a total 'time out' society. We would be viewed as timid and unworthy of respect.
I say praise the schoolyard bully. Even actively teach kids how to successfully bully their peers and defend themselves against being bullied. Grade kids on their bullying and defensive attributes. Selecting only the best and brightest bullies to enter law enforcement or government. Let us accept bullying as just another part of the growing experience. We need to stop this anti-bullying nonsense before it is too late. America, and the world would be better for it.
That's what I think. What do you think?
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