I've been thinking about control, and about bullying.
When a child at school says or does something nasty to another child, and then makes fun of them for going telling the teacher, it's really one of the very few tools they've got - control. They need the victim to be quiet and complacent.
The bully needs the victim to be quiet and complacent, because if the victim is outspoken, the bully gets in trouble. This whole "haha you're such a sissy for telling the teacher" story is actually nothing more than the bully pleading for protection - they need the victim to think that telling the teacher is bad, because otherwise, you know what?
Bully gets in trouble. And when bully keeps on getting in trouble, they cannot continue being a bully. They lose control, and then have to go look in the mirror, and think about things.
It's about control.
The same scenario plays over in the adults' world, but under different circumstances.
The group of people who are in control, well-off and strong demean people who aren't, because, you know what? It's a method of control.
A lot of the people who are struggling to pay their bills, rely on government benefits, are fat, are ill - whatever - keep out of the public's eye and keep quiet. If they speak up, it's very easy for an adult bully to attack them, sometimes in very polite words, saying that it's their own fault for being fat, or ill, or struggling to pay their bills, or relying on government benefits - whatever. Saying that they should work harder, eat better, exercise more.
It's easy for someone who is already successful to speak up; and hard for someone who isn't.
And continuing to keep it that way is the method of control by the group who are already in control, and are already benefitting from the system.
Saying to someone that they don't have a right to complain because they're x, y or z - that they should've done better - is a form of adult bullying. It's the same as the child bully is school who says to another child, "haha, you're such a sissy for telling the teacher", a plea for protection.
Don't speak up, because if you do - I get in trouble.
I keep on seeing people who are doing well loudly standing up for their rights, and people who aren't either quietly working hard to also get there, or just being quiet. But the key word here is, quiet.
I'd like to see more people who are struggling to speak up, and know that whatever situation they're in, it's never entirely their fault. Almost nothing ever is!
I feel a sense of nausea and sometimes almost a need to go vomit when I hear interviews and audio clips from a certain group of people in the United States. I think most of you know what I'm talking about.
The way I see it, that underlying cause of adulthood bullying is the same need for control, and fear of losing it; the plea for protection for people to be quiet, and not stand in the way. They bully, because they want victims to stand out of their way and let them keep bullying, and to remain in control.
I can't change the entire world to my liking, but I can continue having discussions with my own children about the importance of speaking up, and telling teachers, and telling adults.
A 5-year-old can say stupid things to another one, but they're going to learn through me, and through my children that there are consequences. And hopefully, when such consequences come in gentle ways so early in their life, they are going to gradually, gently learn that this is not how we do things around here.