By C. Derick Miller, Sr. Writer/Jr. Producer
Every single one of us who’s currently partaking in this floating rock’s journey around the sun has been bullied in one way or another. Some say it’s simply human nature for a stronger individual to prey upon the weak. If you pay close attention to the animal kingdom, a so called ‘pecking order’ exists within every pack and family unit as well. When it comes to humanity, however, I strongly disagree. We have a choice thanks to millions of years of evolution and intelligence. Some of us just fail to utilize those traits.
A bully doesn’t have to be two guys in a classroom whose sole purpose revolves around making others feel inferior. Personally, my experiences were at the hands of three stepfathers in a row. These men made me feel less than human with every word and action throughout my childhood and early teens. I won’t even bother going into detail regarding how they beat my mother as though it was their job. Eventually, I ran away to live with other family, but the damage was done. Subliminally, it molded me into the man I am today. All I wanted to do from childhood was become a stronger person to fight off any other physical or mental attacks that would eventually come my way. I studied martial arts, joined the Army, and ultimately ended up working for a Sheriff’s Department. Want to know a secret? That final life choice was full of bullies! I ran away from that to pursue a writing career. Again, we’re human, and there’s no escaping it. It’s how we choose to deal with it that truly matters.
I’m not saying that the way I chose to deal with it is the proper solution. Running away from your problems is a last resort in the grand scheme of things. Looking back, I believe I should’ve chosen to seek help within the people who are put in place for exactly those reasons. Whether it be a school counselor or a trusted friend, there’s strength and understanding in numbers. After all, isn’t that the same mentality of the bullies themselves? Fighting back doesn’t necessarily have to include violence. No, the best answer is to put down our arms and seek acceptance and assistance from other like-minded allies. It doesn’t matter if you’re a school kid being tripped in the hallway, an adult in the work force dodging sexual advances from a coworker, or a country resisting oppression from invaders. At some point, the war of the bullies must end. If we all truly evolved from primates, why does that evolution insist on halting with physical appearance?
Perhaps we should try offering the bully a banana? I’m open to suggestions…