Circular Attacks


The topic of bullying is a circular one.

Let’s say you feel like the rich man is bullying you by pouring his finances in anti-you organizations. You protest locally. Change is so slow and seemingly out of reach. But then something twists. A worker at the anti-you organization claims he was bullied by protesters as he went to his unglorified job at the anti-you organization. The worker demands more pay for what he does. Then the rich man says he was bullied by workers demanding too much. The rich man tries to turn it in his favor again. He starts a new organization so he can scale down the first one and hire new people for less pay. Then you say the rich man is bullying you even further by flooding the market with anti-you organizations. You protest locally. And it continues…

Or you could take it to the playground where a child pushes another child off of a swing. The bully takes the swing and the victim runs home crying to mama. On the next visit to the playground, mama shows up. Encouraged by backup, the first victim pushes the first bully off of the slide. Inside her head mama says, “Way to be!” Her mouth says something different, “Uh, we don’t do that, ‘kay?”

First victim now becomes vengeful bully boy and is emboldened by the mama’s nonchalance rather than chastised. Vengeful bully boy pushes another child off of the slide. This third victim has a shorter fuse than most and pummels vengeful bully boy with berserker fists. Vengeful bully boy is a victim again, the fourth in this scenario, and the third victim is now the third bully. Second victim (first bully) watches in amazement as bully mama tears up the third victim and drags her vengeful bully boy off of the playground, leaving third victim (now also the fifth victim) sobbing and wondering why he’s so picked on.

Or we could take it to the workplace. Apprentice worker feels picked on because, well, the bottom of the totem pole feels that way. Everything is blamed on the manual laborer. Less than quality parts? Blame the apprentice. Poor engineering? Blame the apprentice. Critical timing not met? You know who to blame.

Apprentice worker feels bullied. Dislikes the job. Looks elsewhere and secures a position at a different company.

First company feels pressured by the consumer to produce. Now has no apprentice, too top heavy to roll the blame comfortably. Worst case scenario, they are threatened by the prospect of going out of business. Blame shifts to the “job market”. They demand federal intervention and receive it in the form of financial support—which comes from taxes drawn from none other than the apprentice. Taxes are raised to support the corporations that are failing, and the apprentice is the victim again.

Or take it home. One person in the family berates another for something they did. Person berated feels bullied. The next chance they get, maybe immediately or later on, they lash back at the one who did the berating. Victimhood passes around the house like a plague, but so does the bully hat. The only way to stop the cycle is by refusing to wear the hat. Refusing to bully back is how bullying ends. Revenge doesn’t get the job done. It doesn’t even make you feel better, though it might seem like the only way to feel better when the opportunity for revenge presents itself. You give in to the anger and the frustration and you feel worse. You make someone else feel worse. They might even lash back at you for the lashing you gave them.

Hate never stopped hate. Violence never stops violence. Only love can cure hate. Only peace can put an end to violence.

Published by Kurt Gailey

This is where I'm supposed to brag about how I've written seven novels, twelve screenplays, thousands of short stories, four self-help books, and one children's early-reader, but I'd rather stay humble. You can find out about things I've written or follow my barchive (web archive, aka 'blog) at or follow me on twitter @kurt_gailey. I love sports and music and books, so if you're an athlete or in a band or you're a writer, give me a follow and I'll most likely follow you back. I've even been known to promote other people's projects.

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