By Carl Nunnery
Farmington Correctional Facility, Farmington, MO
How was school today? “I hate it,” was the child’s reply. Not something a parent wants to hear from their child, so the questions begin. “What’s the matter” or “What happened?” The parents soon learn it’s not the school that their child hates but rather what happens to them while at school. The parents learned that their child was a victim of being bullied while at school. This was causing their child to focus more on the bully and how to avoid them than they were on the learning being taught at school. The sad fact is this behavior is rampant not only in the grade school level but in intermediate, high school and college as well. This is the evidence that bullying, if left unattended, does not go away. The truth is, it seems that every school has at least one who claims the title of being the big bully.
Let’s look at the actual definitions of the word bully. There are two of them: “a person who is habitually cruel to others who are weaker” and “to intimidate or to make fearful.”
Bullies are actually predators who prey on the weaker person. They feed off being cruel to them or just causing that person to fear them. Many don’t see the bully for what he really is. Here are some of the names the Webster Dictionary uses to describe a bully: gangster, hoodlum, a mug, hood, rowdy, mobster, goon, thug, punk.
Yes, the weaker are fearful of those who are stronger than they are and sometimes they are pressured into doing things that they would not normally do. The bully does this for his own self gratification as well as to impress the onlookers.
A lot of times you hear the smaller person say to the bully, “Why don’t you pick on someone your own size?” Oddly enough, you never see them do that, do you? Bullies don’t like it if the odds of being successful are not in their favor.
Are bullies only at schools? I wish I could say yes, it’s only temporary child’s play but sadly enough some people never grow up. This means there are bullies almost everywhere. There are no age restrictions for being a bully. In Acts 8:1-9:4 it gives us a look at a big bully – Saul. Saul was a persecutor or bully of the early church. The word persecutor means to “pursue with harassing.”
It’s true, most bullies are found in schools. This is where the children are, but some actually do grow up and, ironically enough in a lot of cases, it’s the one who was the weaker or smaller person that has grown up into a more physically fit individual than the bully now is. Kind of like the old saying, “what goes around, comes around.”
That being said, would that make it right for the one who was weaker to seek revenge on the bully who is now the weaker person? I will respond to that question by what God says in His words in Romans 12:19. “Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave room for the wrath of God, for it is written ‘Vengeance is mine, I will repay says the Lord.” So it is okay to seek revenge? No, of course not. Vengeance is the Lord’s and will always be. Think about this, the bully is the one who must carry the burden of his actions, which may be burning like coals inside him, knowing God’s judgment awaits him.
What effects does it have on a person being bullied? It could cause that person to have low self-esteem so as not wanting to be around anybody, then pushing them to a dangerous point. Everyone has a breaking point and then that person will snap and say, “Enough is enough.” Have you ever heard the saying that if you back a dog into a corner you’re going to get bit? It’s true. A person who is being bullied will finally say to himself, “It’s time to do something about it myself.” This is when it becomes a time bomb with an unknown time or place, it will go off.
You see, a person who is being bullied will not always tell anyone about it out of shame for himself, so they will come to two possible solutions to their problem: the bullied person takes their own life as an escape or the bullied person will seek to become the bully, usually with deadly results.
Sometimes the bullied person will seek to get their own revenge or justice or satisfaction. While guns or violence has never been the solution to a problem, as the past has shown, it not only has been but it also has brought some innocent people into harm’s way. Before it escalates to that, do as I suggested, talk to your child and look into their eyes. Every parent knows their child. They know and can tell if something is bothering them.
If you witness someone being bullied, If you are unable to take them away from the bully, go get someone who can. Report the bully to the proper authorities who will know how to handle the situation and if the police or parents need to be called. It is your duty to protect your child and to prevent the child from making a hasty decision to get back at someone for the way they may have been treated.
Another kind of bully is that which is produced at home by the treatment of their parents which has caused that child to take out their frustration on others. Report and stop bullying before it starts.
If you were to ask a bully why they act that way, they would boastfully reply, “because I can.” This is because the effort to stop them or to report them was not made.
Being affected by a bully in your life is a mean and cruel, even hurtful, experience to go through. It keeps you from being the best you can be. Don’t allow a bully to rob you of your potential. Don’t allow a bully to achieve his cruel acts at your expense. Point him out.
When you see someone being bullied, help them out of that situation. When the bully realizes their childish acts will no longer be tolerated or condoned is when it will stop. Being a bully to someone is nothing more than committing a hate crime against them. Let’s pull together against the bullies and stop them.
Peace be with you and have peace with one another (Mark 9:50).