I know this will not be a “popular” post. I know this is not about sex, or match.com, or Whole30, or even about me falling flat on my face into a case of almond butter and Larabars. (those faceplant posts do amazingly well, so I suppose it’s a blessing I fuck up on a regular basis)
This is about bullies. And assholes. NOW, ALL bullies are assholes, but not all assholes are bullies. I am an educator, and my campus has an amazing social-emotional learning program which gives very specific guidelines for what constitutes a bully.
“A person is bullied when he or she is exposed, repeatedly and over time, to negative actions on the part of one or more other persons, and he or she has difficulty defending himself or herself.” ( Dan Olweus)
Bullying, per this definition, requires repetition and an imbalance of power.
Being an asshole means you’re a jerk, but it may be an isolated incident, and you “pick on someone your own size.”
Bullying is systematic, cumulative, and bordering on evil. Especially when perpetrated by an adult. Someone who should know better. Someone in power.
I don’t do tv. No cable. So, I had not seen this 45 seconds. or even just the 10 second excerpt of Mr. Trump and his “imitation” of the reporter. Until two days ago when Meryl Streep referenced it in her Golden Globe acceptance speech, and the clip went viral.
NOW. Regardless of your feelings about Trump, Streep, or the media, the fact remains, Trump did imitate a reporter with disabilities. A man who has less power, wealth, and may not have an equal ability to fight back or defend himself.
And this disdain for those with LESS (whether it be money, power, gender, race, status, education, or physical abilities) appears to be a recurring pattern with Mr. Trump.
I have zero tolerance for bullies. I have an apparent fondness for assholes (tend to date them), but bullies have. no. place. in. my. world.
Let me repeat:
Bullies. Have. No. Place. In. My. World.
I like to think I would have this attitude, no matter what my circumstances, but I believe my need to be a champion for those who have difficulties championing for themselves comes from growing up with a disabled brother.
I hate a bully. (and yes, hate is a strong word). Always have, always will.
I believe it has been established, that I’m scared of everything. Apparently, there is something bigger and more powerful than my fear, and that is ANGER. And thankfully, my anger is typically motivated by LOVE.
When I was in first grade, a much bigger and obviously older, 8th grade girl started picking on my older brother, Ricky, and Alyse, the girl who helped us walk home from Harvey Scott Elementary School. Ricky has been completely handicapped since about 6 months of age, and is small and defenseless. I remember being nearly BLINDED with rage when this girl picked on Rick and Alyse. Our encounter STARTED with my first grade self emphatically informing this girl that her behavior was not acceptable. Our encounter ENDED with this 8th grade girl popping me in the face and bloodying my lip. (my mother did march me up the street to her house, her mother was mortified, and I got an owl candle, so it pretty much ended well.)
Why does this matter? Will this make you a size 2?
All about the wheel. Balance. Holistic living. Being WHOLE.
The obvious piece of the pie here is Civic Engagement. But what of spirit/reflection? What of Work? What of Family/Friends? Are you defending those who cannot defend themselves? Are you defending those who are absent? Am I?
These are uncomfortable and HARD questions. They require me to look at the three fingers pointing back at me. (and the God thumb). But these questions are NECESSARY for a fully functional and balanced life and wheel.
KNOW WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU STICK YOUR HEAD IN THE SAND? YOU GET SHOT IN THE ASS.
My blog is my little platform in the world. So, for today, this is me, pulling my head out, and drawing my line. What does that look like to you?
Knowledge. Action. Change.
Not only should we NEVER be bullies (we are all assholes from time to time), but we need to actively stand up, step up and fight those individuals and institutions who are.
Light and Love,
**lots and lots of the content from this post came from HERE.