Then Jack Happened: Reformed Bully

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Question Bullying is in the news a LOT lately and I’m starting to think it is a little overkill. Granted there are extreme cases that need to be addressed, but lets keep things in perspective. Now parents are suing left and right for cyber bullying and verbal harassment? Where is the line Jack? Answer I’m going to preface this answer by saying any physical threats by a person, or actual physical violence, should not be tolerated. These situations must be dealt with by authority figures, immediately, up to including legal action. Now, I’ve got a confession. I teased numerous people in grade school and some in high school. At the time, I thought it was all in good fun. I never really hated or wanted anyone to feel bad about themselves, but rather joked on folks for kicks. One guy I picked on was in German class. My friends and I would mock him and give him grief weekly. One day, when rummaging through some of Robert’s belongings, I found a ‘wish list’ that Robert had written. On that list he stated that he wished that there were ‘No Bullies.’ My heart fell down to the floor. I felt awful. I still do. I wish that I had apologized to him, but I was too ashamed and scared to. Mocking someone all around is a pretty crummy proposition. I’ve been on the receiving end of this treatment as well, getting mocked by numerous people through these formative years, and I disliked it and in some cases it made me sad. It sucks. It hurts your self worth and makes you feel unwanted. We’re social animals and when people pick on you, whatever the cause, it can be a depressing experience. I understand in your question that you don’t agree with some verbal and cyber aggression being that big of a deal, grow some thicker skin as it were. I agree at least partially in that assessment. I don’t think suing is the answer, or other passive means. Parents need to raise their children to be respectful, appropriate and thoughtful kids. And if a child is being bullied, those allegations must be dealt with seriously. If the person is hurt, listen to them. You can’t judge another individual’s pain. The victim’s mindset is really all that matters. It shouldn’t be up to the instigator to determine what is appropriate and what isn’t. The line is wherever the victim puts it. If someone gets offended or hurt, it isn’t up to the bully to decide if that is true or not. But here’s the problem. We live in the real world, there are bullies and idiots and degenerates. Kid bullies will grow up into adult bullies. It is important to instill in people the confidence to stand up for themselves and set boundaries. It is never appropriate to be harangued, but it’s important in life to be able to tell that person when they’ve gone too far. I think the majority of 80s movies are predicated on this life lesson. There’s some dumb bully, the lead character puts up with it, then he sticks up for himself, lessons learned, and now he’s doing great. A person needs to be able to handle themselves in day-to-day situations, people take advantage of pushovers, or else there is the regrettable and horrible possibility that they will grow up being victims throughout their lives. It’s a shame that bullying occurs, but it’s human nature and human nature isn’t going anywhere. We have to educate bullies and listen to victims. When somebody is getting picked on stand-up for them and teach them to stand up for themselves. With the proper confidence and maintenance man, the sky’s the limit. Look what it did for Daniel LaRusso. C’mon, give me all your questions at andthenjackhappened@gmail.com or I am going to give you a wedgie.