Thursday, February 4, 2010

Bullies -- boo, hiss.

Lots of articles in the local papers about bullying in schools these days. The triggering event was a a young woman who committed suicide after relentless torment from her classmates. Lots of stories are now coming out about the horrors that children are enduring from their so-called peers (who aren't really peers, they're beneath contempt). In one case, a child was fighting cancer and the kids at school were mean as dirt, even after having counselors explain why this child looked different. One father reported that he hired two "young toughs" to protect his child from his tormentors.

Having experienced this type of thing as a child myself, I can tell you that you never, ever forget the misery of having people gang up on you. Makes you wonder how parents raise their children. In one interview, a former bully admitted that he tormented others because it made him feel better about himself...more powerful, superior. So I wonder, was he not getting unconditional love from his parents? Were they bad role models? What leads children to take enjoyment from causing obvious pain and suffering to those around them?

Or, are children just horrible animals that we have to hope will learn some compassion as they mature? I find that a difficult premise to accept. There's something about our social groups, our social standards, or the way we care for each other that's lacking the kindness, the healthy balance, the compassion that an enlightened society should bestow on all its members.

No comments: