Two Thoughts for Wednesday


don't compare

Bullying has become a very serious problem not just in schools but on the internet and through social media. The type of person who targets those they perceive as less or weaker are actually extremely insecure themselves as a rule.

They need to demean others in order to bolster their own flagging ego.  There are of course those who simply delight in the suffering of others and will go out of their way to cause harm but in the most part bullies are cowards who mock others to deflect from their own perceived shortcomings.

One of the hardest things children have to learn is that you can take that power from them by not caring about their opinion. This is a difficult thing to do, especially for teens, as peer pressure and the desire to fit in is an overwhelming force for most during this stage of their growth.

give away ass that can't be kissedThe sayings that I picked for today are not aimed at belittling those who suffer from insecurity, they are meant to point out that true strength comes from understanding that belief in oneself will provide more comfort and security than the opinion of others, especially those who do not wish you well.

This last little homily may be a tad on the blunt side but I have to say it does get straight to the heart of the matter. Remember they can only take what it is you allow them to.

There will be times when others will harm you be it physical or mental but you can still retain what it is that you consider important by refusing to allow the blows they deliver destroy who you are and who you wish to be.

48 thoughts on “Two Thoughts for Wednesday

    • Thanks for the reblog and I’m glad you agree, I was a bit worried that some may feel I was being a smidge harsh. [see there’s me worrying about what others think, sigh must learn to follow own advice :)]

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  1. Bullying is a serious issue on so many levels – but is most publicly evident at the teenage level. When I was attending university at a major Canadian institution the professors were being bullied by the Executive Director – their jobs threatened if they didn’t comply with his orders (i.e. what they could teach and when and where). He also threatened to blackball them in the academic community so they would never work as a prof again, if they didn’t do what he wished, complained or tried to resign.The department had an inquiry done and then declared it secret and buried it- and left the situation unchanged. It was only when the newspapers got wind of it (someone leaked) and started inquiries , that the professors came forward (anonymously) and all told the same story – which the papers published.. Questions to the administration were rebuffed. The Exec eventually resigned under pressure and so did the Dean. All over bullying – in one of the most admired and prestigious universities in Canada. If you look close in our businesses and private lives or on TV or video games, you also find a lot of bullying. These kids are simply repeating what they are experiencing. We can focus on them and put as many programs in place as we want, and as long as we as adults both practice and condone bullying, it will continue to occur.

    Great post Jenni. There’s a lot of work to be done in this area in our society and it’s important that everyone continue to raise awareness and maintain alertness. Thank you.

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    • That’s terrible that such a thing could occur at the university, although what I know of academia does tend to lend itself to the idea of a snake-pit at times so I guess I shouldn’t be so surprised. Still it shouldn’t happen anywhere but life seems to be devolving into the haves and the have nots, those who have power, those who don’t and power means a great many things. Money is power, information is power, education is power, even a community is power – all of these things can be a positive force and yet we seem determined as a species to take them to the worst ends.

      Thank you for your words and I always look forward to your comments. Jenni

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    • Assertiveness is a positive trait as it does not seek to drag others down rather it seeks to lead or draw others together for a better working environment. Dictatorial people in the workplace however are nothing more than a walking disaster area that seek to rise not with others but by clubbing them from behind and clambering over the unconscious form to get ahead.

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      • Your comment Jenni, reminded me of a team building exercise in which I once participated. There were 6 per team and about 8 teams. One of the exercises consisted of viewing a complex model of a building in a box through a small port in the’ display. There were ports on 4 sides but no team menber was permitted to peer in more than 1 port. Then we had to get together and assemble the same model from parts in our teams table (tehre were about 200 parts – some very small). The time at the port was limited to 20 seconds but could be repeated as many times as desired. There was an overall time limit on the exercise. One of our team members was a young French woman who was a Certified Accountant who worked for the federal gov’t. She spoke her mind. I watched as she got in line behind a member of another team at one of the ports. When the 20 seconds were up, she reminded him verbally that it was her turn. He ignored her and in a few seconds she reminded him again, this time louder, that it was her turn. He ignored again and she brandished a sheave of papers wound into a tube, and reached up and struck him in the side of the head as hard as she could while yellig: “Get out of my way!” He moved. When she returned to our table with the sketches we needed, we were conversing and she mentioned that she thought she needed some classes in assertiveness. I laughed and pointed out that she had just hit a guy in the head to get her rightful spot in line and she looked at me like I was an idiot and said ” That’s agressiveness, stupid, and I’ve got lots of that!”

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      • Have to say I would have done what she did also even knowing it was aggressive. I’d have loved to have seen that and it’s good she knew the difference but still some people just won’t play well with others unless made to. Probably part of the exercise was finding out who were good team players and who should have their own sandbox.

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    • Thanks – hey I’m having some trouble reading stuff on your site was Just call me rocky your last post cause I’m sure there was another one and I can’t see what your recent ones are. Convoluted way of saying have I missed something. Jenni

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    • Thanks – it’s so hard for some people and I really hate bullying. It’s cruel and causes much harm that stays with people for much longer than most would think.

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  2. It is good that you’re taking a stance against bullying, in all its forms. Being a rational and logical individual, I have to take exception to the notion that bullying can be done on the internet. I’ll explain how I arrive at that conclusion. Unlike bullying that takes place in person, online bullying can be ignored. It can be prevented. All one has to do is block the person who is trying to bully you. In every social media site, every chat room, and forum site, you have the option to simply block or ignore the bully. Therefore, the only way one can be bullied online is if one volunteers to be. Could the person make more accounts? Of course they can. But guess what, those other account can also be blocked or ignored. Again, if you don’t block or ignore them, you’re volunteering to be their victim. Even if it’s someone who also bullies you in person, you have all the power to deny them access to you on the internet. If you don’t use that power, then you’re volunteering to be bullied. I’m not standing up for bullies, or trying to vilify the victims. I’m only asking for people to look at the concept of online bullying rationally and logically. It can’t exist, without the victim allowing it to exist.

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    • I see your point but the issue with cyber bullying is that even if you don’t look at it, the material is still there on the web and once things are out there it is impossible to fully delete the material. You can’t even escape it as the internet comes into your home. It’s like being naked in a glass house, sure they’re outside and can’t get you but you’re still horribly exposed.

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      • Even if it’s on the internet forever, how can it hurt you if you don’t pay it any notice? If people want to believe what those people say about you, then they aren’t worth knowing. It can’t come into your home, if you don’t allow it to. Just because you’re on the internet, doesn’t mean that the moment you connect, that stuff is going to be the first thing you see. You’d have to purposefully go to the website where it can be found. Again, that’s volunteering to be bullied. You don’t have to see it, you don’t have to allow it to come into your home. You control what you see on the internet. If you fail to take that control, you are the only one responsible for making yourself a victim. You have two choices, when it comes to e-bullying. Your first choice is to ignore and/or block it, which everyone can do. Or you can sit around and continue to see it and allow it to hurt you. If you choose the latter, then you have become your own bully. We need to stop allowing people to perpetuate the notion of internet bullying. It does not exist, except where the ‘victim’ allows it to exist. You are right, in that once something is on the internet, it’s on the internet forever. However, that can’t affect someone who chooses to ignore it. Just because it’s on the internet, doesn’t mean that anyone can force you to see it. You can only see it, if you look at it on purpose. And if you look at it on purpose, you’re the only one to blame. I’m sorry, but cyber bullying only exists to the extent that people allow it to. If you ignore it, it can’t hurt you. If you don’t ignore it, you have no right to be upset.

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      • Personally that is the way I would deal with it but I think it is the idea of complete strangers seeing negative and damaging things about a person that most find hard to ignore. You can stand against a known adversary but the unknown is a little more difficult for some. Even more so for this is a generation that interacts greatly through social media, by not participating with their friends they can feel shut out. I think that more than anything is why some take abuse that I wouldn’t stand for, they don’t want to lose all of their interaction just because of a handful of people. Still you have a point and I must admit I do get frustrated with people – as I said in my post the only real power a person has to hurt you is what you give them. Not caring is the only true defense against bullying whether it be on or offline.

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      • I’m not sure HS has taken into account how completely integrated the internet has become into our society. If we were solitary creatures (like Thoreau’s Walden) her logic would be perfect. However, we live in a very integrated world. For instance, many companies (and I have done this too as am employer) google job applicants to see what info is out there on Facebook, blogs, etc. Regardless of your ability to do the job, if, say for instance, you’re a teacher and bullys have spread a rumor you are a pedophile, you are not going to get the job, and no one will ever tell you why for fear of being sued. How’s that for an effect on your life? And most employers do this. Or if you are a scientist who is applying for a research grant and bullys have circulated rumors that you are faking your research results – no grant and no explanation why. Most women these days will google a potential date before going out – in case they are a criminal or dangerous or currently charged with a crime or have declared bankruptcy. If there is derogatory info or slander out there courtesy of bullys, you may even have a hard time finding a date. No explanation will be given.

        In short, the internet and social media have become so integrated into our culture, that it has control over jobs, love life, friendships, reputation, etc., etc. And in most cases decisions will be (and are being) made abput you and for you, without your knowledge. And you cannot fight what you do not know is there. Hence bullying can be destructive in a life changing way. Just a new-age extention of John Donne’s philosophy : ” …who am brought so near the door by this sickness….No man is an island, entire of itself…because I am involved in mankind; and therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee.” That was written in 1624 and applies as perfectly to the internet as has always applied in human history.

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      • Have to say I agree with you on that. I do see her point but it doesn’t take into account how pervasive social media is. It also becomes an issue when employers start wading in as is happening with the Australian Public Service – as per some of my earlier posts.

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      • I’m not trying to suggest that these things can’t impact your life. However, if employers are going to believe everything they see on the internet about a candidate, then it’s my opinion that the candidate shouldn’t even waste their time on that employer. If an employer isn’t willing to ask the candidate if what they’ve read is true, then that employer is stupid. I guess we’ve roamed away from innocent until proven guilty in this country. Now you’re guilty until proven innocent. It’s things like this, which causes me to keep my real name off the internet. Not only that, but I’d flat out refuse to work for an employer that demanded to see my social site accounts. They don’t deserve to see my personal life. That’s none of their business. But I digress, we all have the choice to be a victim, regardless of where the bullying takes place, or we can rise above it. Parents really need to be teaching this to their children, and teach them that being popular isn’t important. They need to teach their children that anyone who won’t accept them as they are, is not someone they need to waste any thought on. Unfortunately, too many parents these days are lazy and aren’t doing their jobs. They want the village to raise their child for them. They want the internet, television and game consoles to babysit their children. They buckle under threats from their children to call the cops if they don’t get an allowance or have the expensive clothes that all of their friends have. They’re raising selfish brats who have a massive entitlement mentality. It’s truly a shame that we’ve allowed social sites to be so influential to every area of our lives. We need to stop letting others have a magnifying glass into our lives. We need to stop allowing people to believe that they’re only somebody if they’ve got tons of friends, and get tons of likes on social sites. We need to teach them that their character, integrity, honor and loyalty are far more important than friends or likes. We need to take social media and social sites out of the equation. It can be done. I have done it.

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  3. Hi Jen I hope you are feeling better, how was the trip to the Drs. …. Bullying I understand. I was bullied mercilessly at school , a little at work and in my early years of marriage too! I now write about bullying to show people how damaging it can be ! I now conform to your second homily a sharp finger to all bullies !

    and a couple of my posts no need to read just like to get it off my chest when I see the word bullying I get the urge to share!

    http://willowdot21.wordpress.com/2012/04/13/its-nothing-less-than-abuse-2/

    http://willowdot21.wordpress.com/2013/08/07/cyber-bullying/

    http://willowdot21.wordpress.com/2012/10/17/2966/

    http://willowdot21.wordpress.com/2013/04/12/day-12-napowrimo-why/

    Sorry to go on and on and on!!

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  4. Great post. What surprises me these days is that there are so many adult bullies. I guess I should have known that, kids have to learn it somewhere. The thing is, we spend a lot of time teaching kids about bullying when in fact, they’re just mirroring what they see all around them. The world has really changed, I’m not sure exactly how or when, but in the “olden days” there was more of a civility, an agree to disagree mentality. People could argue over politics and then go out for a beer together. Contrast that with today’s attitude which seems to be more about, “somebody is wrong on the internet and I will not rest until I have destroyed them!”

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    • I know I think it goes with this sense of entitlement that pervades everything. So many people only think of themselves and if they do think of others it’s often in a derogatory way.

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  5. Jenni,

    Great post on bullying. It has been my observation that those who bully as children/teenagers will continue this behavior into their adulthood. Some change but many do not. But just like the childhood bully, it you stand up to them they will back down. Life is too short to spend one’s time trying to make the life of another miserable.

    Patrick

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    • Oh yes, I know. When I made the comment about children it was mainly to point out the pressure to fit in that so many feel. Bullying goes on for adults the same as it does for children.

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    • Thanks for the link – I shared the clip on FB. It’s wrong to hold deep anger toward people, I know this on an intellectual level, but it doesn’t alter the fact that I would enjoy all sorts of horrible ends of those who demean and deride others for their own twisted egos.

      Oh well – one can only grow so much in a single lifetime I guess, I’ll just have to learn to be a better person.

      Hmmm wonder if bullies would like some assistance re being better people? [big smile and I contemplate all sorts of lessons and trials] Nope there I go again [all that anger] – it will be an uphill battle I can see.

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  6. I spend a lot of time and energy in the battle to keep fracking out of New York State, which also involves helping fight against it and fossil fuels more broadly throughout the US and internationally, as well as advocacy for renewable energy and helping in the fight to stabilize the climate. I am on an online rapid response team that comments on media articles on these topics and I always put together posts based on facts and science. Those in favor of fracking often resort to name-calling and lies instead of presenting evidence to bolster their viewpoints. It’s gotten bad enough that I no longer monitor replies to my comments and generally don’t read the comments of others, relying on readers to evaluate the strength of my facts on their own merit over the bullying bluster and lies of the other side. I hope, as your first quote says, that readers see through the insecurities of the bullies and appreciate the confidence of those with the facts to back up their viewpoints.

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    • I’ve noticed that – it’s one of the reasons I no longer participate of some of the political blogs as it devolves into school yard tactics. I work with a number of groups providing PR skills with the press and speech writing but I no longer get into debates re the comments etc. As you said, they won’t discuss anything and just become vulgar and childish because they have no real argument other than greed and try to cover that up by mudslinging and name calling. We do what we can and try to ignore the vitriol of those who disagree.

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