LOVE THY BULLY
When I sat down this evening in hopes of pounding out a brilliant think-piece about America's latest bout with Libya, I realized immediately that it just wasn't going to happen...at least not tonight. I did make a half-hearted attempt, but putting such massive amounts of hypocrisy, incompetence, and short-sightedness into one article was going to take more time and patience than I happen to have tonight. For now, "ROADHOUSE ON LIBYA" will have to wait. In the meantime, I offer the following substitute.
In recent months, it's been hard to miss the growing trend of anti-bullying messaging in the media and throughout my daughter's school. When President Obama referenced bullying in one of his many "let's talk about this so you won't focus on my total lack of competence" speeches last week, I knew I had to address the topic. And as usual, I will be taking a road less traveled on the issue.
Let's face it, being bullied is no fun. Yes, I do speak from experience. The effect it can have on your dignity and self esteem can be devastating and emotionally crippling. On the other hand, being bullied can be a lesson in life that you will draw on for the rest of your days. The choice is almost always that of the "victim".
As with most problems in life, liberals are under some weird impression that lots of your money, legislation, regulation and public service propaganda campaigns will somehow magically end bullying. Even if bullying could be ended with the wave of a hand, Jedi mind trick style, I think it is in our children's best interest if we take a minute to ask if bullying actually should be stopped.
Consider this. What lesson does a child take away from a scenario where he/she is bullied, and an all-powerful third party steps in and saves the day? Did the child learn self-reliance and the value of knowing how it feels to overcome adversity? No, he/she learned how to be totally dependent on some other person or group, reinforcing and solidifying his/her low self esteem.
Now, what lesson does the same child take away from being allowed or even forced to handle the bully on his/her own terms? Win or lose, the child will never be 40 years old, still living with the regret of not at least trying to stick up for themselves.
Personally, being bullied was probably the most influential factor in shaping my personality to this day. I don't even remember how many months I suffered, fearing my bus ride to middle school because of my bully. Thankfully, I had parents who were wise enough to push me into standing up for myself. So one day, shortly after he started his daily routine of pushing me around, my bully was met with a fist in the face, resulting in his blood on the bus floor. From that day on, he never bothered me, or anyone else on that bus again.
As far away as that day is now, I still reflect back on that particular bus ride whenever I have a challenge to face in my adult life. Call it survival of the fittest, call it natural selection, or call it the school of hard knocks, but my bully has saved my self esteem and maybe even my life many times over in the decades since that encounter. Looking back, I realize that being bullied was probably the best thing that ever happened to me.