Bullying is said to be a word for people asserting their power over those weaker to them; pushing them around.
It all starts, typically, with this one typical popular kid who picks on an unpopular nerdy kid. Or one rough and tough sporty kid bullying a thin lanky kid. There are many scenarios like these; it is pretty prevalent in schools. It sometimes distracts victims from their academics or mentally scars them. A lot of people wonder one thing- why does the bully do it?
1) I believe there to be three reasons for bullying- the first being the person’s own insecurities or them feeling threatened. This bully either was bullied themselves in the past or they might have a dysfunctional life. This makes the bully feel weak; the need to assert their strength and gain control leads them to resort to poor ways of dealing with their own issues– such as bullying. However, this approach of showing our strengths is clearly a sign of weakness.
Maybe the bully feels threatened by someone or something about them. Let me give you just another cliché example: there is a kid who is good in academics and another kid who isn’t– so the academically lacking kid bullies the other by misusing his brute strength to make himself feel powerful. I remember going to see the movie Cars 3; a quirky short film on this topic that was shown before the main movie is still stuck in my memory.
The film showed an elementary school playground where small children were playing with their toys during recess. Then, a slightly older boy comes and starts snatching their toys. There was a lost-and-found toy basket lying there, in which you could see something moving among the heap of toys. Something alive. Later, when the recess was over and the older boy was playing with a handheld device that he stole from one of the elementary school students, the creature hidden in the toys slithered up to the boy and took the handheld device. You would see that the creature was actually the toys in the heap joining to form one entity. You could see the other toys the older boy had snatched from the younger kids in the body of the creature. So, the older boy starts chasing the toy-creature to get any toy back. After a while, the toy-creature somehow convinces him to help it return the toys to their respective owners. Next recess, the boy starts giving all the children their toys back, as the toy-creature keeps on throwing him toys from the basket. As he approaches them to give them their toys one by one, you could see they were, at first, scared as he earlier bullied them and took those very toys away. But then, they see him giving them their toys and they become happy and accept them. They accept the older boy. The older boy becomes happy seeing the joy he brings as he gives them their toys. After giving all their toys back, the boy approaches the basket to see one still remaining there. The last toy, lying at the very bottom. It was a teddy bear. When the boy sees it, his eyes widen in shock and we see a flashback. The older boy was younger, still in elementary school, and was playing with his teddy bear at the same playground. Then, some older kids come and snatch it away. As the flashback ends, the boy hugs his toy.
Bullying is a cycle. A vicious cycle of hatred. One kid bullies another, who bullies another– who, in turn, bullies yet another. A cycle that is hard to break, but can be broken nonetheless. People have done it before and so can you. Just imagine: you bully a child younger to you, who in turn bullies your younger sibling. Not a pleasant thought, is it?
2) The second reason, the one I loathe the most, is that bullying, at its core, is just another show of power. The same type of power exhibited by corrupt politicians and the scum of the underworld to let everyone know they’re superior- the alpha of the society.
In fact, they do not possess much power of their own and get it from forming a group of friends (which I am pretty sure they think to be a gang) or from their relatives or someone close to them. Like Draco Malfoy from the first few books of the Harry Potter series with his “My father will hear about this”. Coward.
One day I was walking in school, minding my own business, when this guy and his *ahem* ‘gang’ came and pointed at me and whispered among themselves “let’s do it with this guy”. Next thing I knew, one of them (apparently the ‘leader’) asked me why I hit him. We both knew I didn’t, and yet he made the false accusation. All of them approached me asking what my problem is. I told them I didn’t do anything and to excuse me as I needed to go to class. But they didn’t let it go; they approached me once more, time with the ‘muscle’ of the group. He asked why I hit his friend. I told him I didn’t and thankfully, he let me go. As I was a few flights below them, I heard the ‘muscle’ of the group saying “Dude he didn’t hit you, he doesn’t have the guts to do so”. I didn’t let my pride get in my way and say something even though I really wanted to.
There is one thing I have learnt about power. Power is useless unless you know how to use it. Or in the words of Uncle Ben to his nephew Peter Parker “With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility”. Even though it is just a famous quote from a comic book, it holds deep meaning. When you have power you use it responsibly. You use it properly. Like a leader of a country. Given the power of a whole country, the leader must use it responsibly to lead his country properly.
The third form of bullying is when people, maybe even friends of the victim, do it in “it’s all fun and hanging out” without realizing the consequences. I have seen a whole class hit a child together in this way. They don’t realize that victim is hurting from inside. And you know what is the saddest part? Most of these victims take it just to get even just a single form of acceptance.
Bullying is a huge problem. It troubles victims, traumatizing them and leaves them with issues– massive self-confidence issues. I have seen these people and helped them up. I have seen how deep down they have drowned; it is very sad. Bullying needs to stop. Especially among children. Being at such impressionable age, they are molded by these incidents and are changed for the worse. Did you know many of these victims actually act out in violent ways or end up committing suicide because they feel unaccepted and weak? They feel unneeded. I would like to end this by a small tidbit.
“The girl you just called fat? She is overdosing on diet pills. Remember the boy you called weak? He goes home shivering in the winter because his family is poor. The girl you just called ugly? She spends hours putting makeup on hoping people will like her. The boy you just tripped? He is abused enough at home. See that man with the ugly scars? He fought for his country. That guy you just made fun of for crying? His mother is dying.”
When the next time you bully someone, think, do you actually want to inflict this damage?
Image Credits : Aryaman TrivediI like this!