Human nature can be cruel if not tempered with love. I believe at the heart of every cruel act lies the results of a neglected or misused child.
People who are from an early age stripped of self value fill our prisons. Children who bully often come from homes that either denigrate, or in some cases, over inflate their perception of their own self worth. One example might be the jock that can do no wrong so long as the competition is won. At the other extreme is the kid who never receives any reward no matter how great his efforts. Each might become bullies, one because they can, the other because they are in pain.
I am saddened to say that much blame for bulling lays in our educational system. From staff and teachers that don’t get it to ones that could care less, all contribute to the problem. This is an area that can be remediated rather quickly by making our schools zero tolerant of bullying. Each school needs an aggressive protocol to prevent bulling and quickly address it if it should arise. Every school needs a systemic approach that encourages reporting of bulling behavior and a means to take swift action to end it without delay.
According to StopBullying.Gov Bullying is unwanted, aggressive behavior among school aged children that involves a real or perceived power imbalance. The behavior is repeated, or has the potential to be repeated, over time. Bullying includes actions such as making threats, spreading rumors, attacking someone physically or verbally, and excluding someone from a group on purpose. I might note that once a certain age is attained bullying becomes criminal behavior. Many state and federal laws address bullying-like behaviors in older age groups under very serious terms, such as hazing, harassment, and stalking.
We all need a friend and a good place to start is by offering your friendship to someone who needs help overcoming barriers life has placed before them. Some good examples to befriend would be the new kid at school, the new person in your church, a disadvantaged person, someone who is of a different orientation, race, color or creed than you. I will tell you this; don’t be surprised by how much your own life ends up being enriched by the simple act of friendship.
One last thing I want to impart to anyone who has love in their heart for anyone please let it shine through. There is little point in telling them you loved them at the grave. Parents, accept your children for whom they are and love them anyway, that way they can be free to find their own path. Walk with them where you can, guide them when you can and be there like a friend to catch them should they stumble.