Sunday, September 16, 2007

The Bully in the Sandbox


{Click the Title for Music: Sarah McLaughlin "World on Fire"}
When George gives speeches I sometimes find myself reflecting on other Bullies in my life. I can't help it. The first bully I ever met was a Neighborhood Variety kind, his name was Stinkie Robinson, and that was what the kids called him, he used to steal his mother's cigarettes and do terrible things to Frogs. And he was the first Bully that I ever fought, and I was five. There was spitting, kicking and namecalling involved with this Battle.I indeed may have kicked where I was not suposed to, it started simple enough. It ended with my being told that I "needed to apologize", and to "act more ladylike", and of course the obligatory "Two wrongs don't make a right".I can tell you right now, there was No Apology, and much time spent in one's room.And in a way I should thank Stinkie , because he was the first one I fought, and after a few battles I learned that spending time in my room was prefereable to compromising my principles.So I am well read thanks to Stinkie.So from these Childhood battles I learned early that there are always Bullies, and they may differ in stature or levels of Cruelty but they are everywhere.The one thing that I actually never contemplated is that they Grow Up.

When my son was little he was playing in a local sandbox, he had brought his favorite toys and diggers and it was a location where we went almost daily on hot summer eves. Suddenly another boy arrived and started grabbing at all of his things, and also burying his toys, and when 6-6 spoke up, the "Child" started throwing sand in his face. I now realized that no other mom was going to intervene, so I did. I quickly dusted off 6-6 and put myself in between the two boys.The Brat ( as we can now affectionatly call him) began stomping his feet and yelling, still kicking sand everywhere. I spoke up loudly and told him to stop.I yelled over to the mother" I think your son is actin inappropriately, could you please come speak with him?". She put down her Latte and her paper and yelled from her comfy spot on a near by Bench,"I don't want to get sand in my shoes, the boys will have to just work this out." Then I yelled back to her" They are three year olds, they lack the skills". Now her lovely child was still screaming and called me and my son " Poopheads". She yelled over "Johnny, use your words." I yelled back ,'He did just use his words, you need to come over and monitor your child, he is still throwing sand!". I said this as my son cried and I tried to comfort him, and gather the toys to leave, because I already knew that Mrs-I -must-have-my-latte- on-the-bench was NOT going to deal with her Angel. As I gathered everything up and put them in the bags, I looked down at the Screaming Angel and said loudly for Mommy Dearest to hear,"Please do ask your Mommy What a Bully is ?".

And I walked home and carried my crying three year old full of sand, frustation and confusion. He was bewildered WHY this bully acted the way he did to him. And I explained it was not about him at all, and nothing he did, that Bullies look for fights and don't really ever care what others feel or experience.They don't care about hurting others.And we talked about it over and over as we went home and ate Breyers vanilla ice cream.

So watching Mr.Bush give his speech the other night, it finally dawned on me, that they don't grow up, they just get bigger.

11 comments:

Pursey Tuttweiler said...

just saying hello, not reading political stuff much at all unless it is snarky or something I cannot resist. The persistent frustration is not so good for my soul. I am glad you have the energy to keep doing what you are doing. Warm thoughts abound, dear friend.

dirty angel said...

Thanks for posting this. Anyone who hasn't recognized by now that GWB is a bully, hasn't been paying attention. He is a silver spoon bully.

I cannot fathom why we are still justifying military occupation as the primary solution to Iraq's deeply tragic trouble now. Violence started the trouble, violence is exacerbating the trouble, and our response, with all our money, strength, and supposed Christian values, is more violence. I just don't get it.

Personally, I have been on all ends of bullying. Like everyone everywhere ever, I have been bullied. Like you, I have taken on bullies. And like some, I have been a bully. Kind of a blessing, having each point of view.

As you so wonderfully shared, I learned that being a victim can teach principles. Not giving in to bullying in any form (even if it is parental and surely well intentioned), but hanging on to integrity of self and soul come hell or high water... very, very affirming. Few acts can do more for a person's faith in themselves or their connection with their ideals.

Of course, the most satisfying by far is to be a defending angel. That position is sacrosanct. The victim is rescued, the bully gets "taught a lesson," the angel is a hero.

But honestly, it was the experience of bullying others that gave me some insight into the peculiar irony of being weak and scared, and cruel and powerful all at the same time. How seductive that is.

And when there are no defending angels around, and when the victim isn't strong and cannot cling to the moral high ground or defy bullying, the animal inside the bully gains power in the lowest common denominator of humanity.

More than likely, we are all capable of falling into that pit. Sometimes it is only by choice that we do not.

GWB is a servant of this country, whether he thinks so or not. His service is leadership. What I hope, what I pray, is that we all learn by his bad example and take a stronger stand against bullying - both in our nation's actions and in our personal lives.

Daniel said...

Bullying is part of our nature. An unpleasant part like many other unpleasant parts within us.

In this dog-eat-dog world the bullies survive better than those who are soft, sensitive and well-meaning. We're the ones who get trampled on.

It's not right, just the way it is!

Anon-Paranoid said...

Yes, Der Fuhrer has a bully complex. In fact he probably bullies Laura before he can get it up and have sex with her.

That is if she even lets him touch her anymore.

God Bless.

Larry said...

Like any bully, they only pick on someone smaller, usually with the appearance of being weak.

Larry said...

Check out this newly created action to protest Bush and hwat is happening to our country:


Shut it Down

Josie said...

Hurray for you...! Anyone can stand her ground in the face of a bully is my hero! Bullies come in all shapes and sizes, and bullying comes in all forms, including the passive aggressive (I'm not speaking to you bullsh*t). Bullies need to be put in their place. I think it's a bit too late for the one you have on office at the moment, but you have to be sure not to elect another one.

I couldn't listen to his speech. His voice and diction is like fingernails on a blackboard to my ears.

I hope you're having a wonderful weekend.

Cheers,
Josie

Josie said...

I meant to say anyone who can stand her ground... But you knew that :-)

enigma4ever said...

Josie: yes, all of us need to learn to stand our ground...and bullies are still round, not doubt....I hope you too had a good weekend...I did..I painted....Fall Cleaned ( like spring cleaning) and today I had a sore throat- so I cacooned and ate sorbet...all in all not bad....thank you for being here...

Larry: I agree, it is time for New Tactics with the Bully and our spineless Govt....

Anony: ugh...I can't even imagine Dubya petting his scottie, much less THAT....ugh...but thanks for coming by...

Daniel: I am not sure that it is a part of OUR nature...but certainly Certain people are indeed Bullies, and they start at an early age...

Dirty Angel: thank you so much for what you said...you are indeed thoughtful....and such a well writen and true...thank you for your insights....

Pursey: lovely to see you...and I don't always blog political , most days it is Soul Food..I in many ways am worried about our souls....and spiritually what has happened to all of us these past six hellish years....so that is the part I am trying to nurture....and feed...

deuddersun said...

Excellent post Enigma. Not much too add here, other than to say that maybe you should have dumped a handful of sand into a cup of latte.

d.

enigma4ever said...

Deud: you are soooo funny...I never thought of that...You know I left and she as still sitting there...thanks for making me laugh...