Bullying doesn’t always end with childhood. From the workplace to family life, you may encounter and adult bully. How often do we sacrifice the dignity and esteem of the person for a mere flicker of artificial laughter, one that brings only darkness afterwords?
To accept Christ’s call to be apostles means that the focus of our energy is no longer on ourselves, rather on others. This requires an ascetic concretization and a daily decision to eradicate from our lives all that impedes us from transmuting Christ; there is no higher priority in our day. Every word, every gesture, every movement must be gradually trained and converted so as to serve this mission.
Now, what we see in today’s video is an utter inversion of all of this. The human being is stripped of his or her dignity; the heart, ever so desirous of friendship, is force fed with hate and ridicule. All the tools that God has given so that we might participate in his love towards others are abused, perverted, and utterly shorn of their initial purpose.
At this point, two things come to mind. In the first place, it is important to point out the absolute ridiculousness of such a behavior, whether we are talking about a person who is 50 years or 14. It is the worst kind of hate, one without even a purpose besides the mere belittlement of the other for a simple laugh. Insist with those who fall into such a behavior that they explain why they do it; what is the point, what is the goal, what is the benefit.
In the second place, and perhaps more importantly, try to help the person understand the source of their actions. Why do they treat others in such a way? After bringing to light that the action in itself is worthless, it becomes evident, and should be made so to the person, that there is something deeper involved, some knot untied, some glitch unrecognized. All actions have a source, a finality; discovering it is many times a shockingly revealing moment that builds a foundation for purifying it.
As a last consideration, many will see this video and interpret it to be an “anti-bullying” video, which in a sense is true. Nonetheless, I think we must be careful to be precise when we say “anti-bullying”. A bully by definition is a person who uses strength or power to harm or intimidate those who are weaker. This does not necessarily refer to “teasing” which refers to making fun of or attempting to provoke (a person or animal) in a playful way. Sometimes I get the impression that the “anti-bullying” campaign can become a type of deflector shield that does more harm than good in those cases in which a very insecure person is completely unable to receive any negative comments, even when they are not intended to be truly harmful. Susceptibility can become a viselike characteristic as well.