What’s the difference between a well-paid basketball coach who physically and emotionally abuses players and a cowardly man who punches a defenseless woman in the face for free, or the people in a workplace who prey on fellow employees for fun? The number of enablers they have - nothing more.
Every few years we will have a laughable national debate on bullying - often after some horrendous event which has shocked even the most jaded among us - with mental health experts making the rounds on television talk shows, with advice on what we as a nation must do. The hosts will nod their heads, and ask grave questions, and sometimes we will hear from victims of bullying. Cut to commercial break . . . and ads for the new Bruce Willis action film, Die Hardly: Where the Hell is my Vitamin E?
Business as usual.
How many times (especially since Columbine) have we heard about bullying in schools, and what to watch out for? And how to help those who are being bullied? End of problem. We can all go to bed safe at night now, our consciences clear.
With the storm over the Rutgers’ basketball coach, who got his jollies by both emotionally and physically abusing his players, the clouds are over us again, but the enablers, those who are quick to assure us that this is all just a tempest in a tea cup, and this is how things ought to be in this great country of ours, have been working loudly overtime this week.
Like the National Rifle Association, the enablers of bullying are getting quicker each time at rushing to the microphone to defend anyone, anywhere, who is accused of bullying - especially if they do it for money.
I have written before about being bullied in my early years in school, so I don’t need to go any further into that.
But I have also seen bullying in the workplace - from fellow workers as well as bosses. There is bullying in the military. Hell, I have seen it on Facebook, the great social network, where people who are all meek and mild in reality get hateful when they can hide behind their tiny little smiling picture.
What happens when people get bullied - aside from the fact that bullies get some cheap amusement?
At the very least, there is depression. And sometimes, someone snaps and decides to do something about it.
If we have a legal defense for those who have been abused in a relationship, and they strike back at their abuser, might not one day there be a similar legal defense for those who have been bullied?
Would those who take such great satisfaction in being their enablers today, grinning like loons whenever the subject is brought up, finally sit up and take notice then? Might it penetrate into even their minds that bullying is wrong?
Quote of the Day
The most important thing about a vacation for many people is the fact that they can brag about having been on one. - Brendan Francis