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Standing Up to Bullies

It seems bullying is getting a lot of attention these days. We’ve experienced it a little with our kids. The whole idea of bullying wasn’t getting so much attention wayyy back when I was a youngster, but it’s not like bullying is a new thing.

I think the biggest problem is kids aren’t being taught to stand up for what is right. We’re teaching our kids tolerance of everything and then wondering why no one stands up to the bullies of the world. We model for our kids an unwillingness to stand up for ourselves or someone else because of the fear of what our actions might cost us.

The root of this problem, and many other problems in life, is selfishness. The bully is a selfish person, obviously, and I don’t want to get in to all the possible reasons why.  The bottom line is bullies, and lots of other types of narcissist behaviors, all boil down to being selfish.

But isn’t it just as selfish to be aware of bullying and fail to address it? The right thing to do would be to try and stop the bullying. But we’re more concerned about what doing the right thing might cost us than we are about doing the right thing. We’re willing to sacrifice a lifetime of building the character and integrity it takes to do the right thing more than we are willing to sacrifice whatever temporary consequences another person can inflict upon us. This self-preserving mentality is passed on to our kids and they either get bullied or ignore someone else getting bullied, so bullying continues.

There’s a saying, “Nice guys finish last”, and I believe the reason that proves true is because there aren’t enough generally good and nice people willing to stand up for what is right and get back up when a bully knocks them down. What do we have to be afraid of? I’d rather die a torturous death and still have some character and integrity intact than watch bullies beat everyone down my whole life and do nothing about it.

I hope I’m teaching my kids to do what is right no matter the cost.

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