Letter: Bullying part of life
Face it: American society is combative. It’s a rough-and-tumble place made up of fighters, scrappers — of people who when defeated often pick themselves up, dust themselves off and re-enter the fray. Our free market economy requires toughness, resiliency and tenaciousness to succeed. America’s definition of prosperity is predicated upon these qualities. It is the sine quo non of the “good life.” Like it or not, America is one big, all-encompassing marketplace and successful elbow-swinging, however, cloaked in acceptability, is a prerequisite to entering the game and being competitive.
Bullying of one sort or another is part of our socialization. We may not want to admit it, but it’s attributes are what prepares us to succeed, whether it be in the classroom or on the playing field. Is the use of the Socratic Method in our law schools not a form of bullying? When a coach berates us in front of our teammates he/she is being a bully of sorts. And what about the drill sergeant screaming at young recruits during basic training? Aren’t these examples all part-and-parcel of the bullying matrix?
Most of us can recall a time when we ourselves either bullied or were bullied (usually both). The vast majority of us survived it and learned coping skills from having to deal with it. In a macabre sense, perhaps the experience even made us stronger and wiser; we usually learn life’s lessons from such adversity.
As John Wayne once said: “Life is tough and it’s even tougher if you’re stupid.” Perhaps the underlying traits of bullying are inherent in human nature — built into our DNA to make us smarter and thus able to better survive in a dangerous and ever-changing world.