THE word “bullying” seems to be appearing more and more frequently in the news media these days.
That suggests to me that it could probably do with a bit of reasonable exploration.
What is a bully?
In common parlance, it is someone exercising undue power and coercion over another who seems to lack the capacity to expose it for what it is.
Mental breakdowns, destroyed relationships, loss of jobs and self-esteem and, in extreme cases, even suicides have been attributed to bullying.
Yet it just keeps on going. What is it in anyone that warps their thinking to the degree that they believe they can exercise illicit power over another person?
Bullying can sometimes be quite subtle, and become entrenched without really being recognised for what it is.
But the tyranny and violence happening all over the world, civil wars, dictatorships and oppression of all kinds are clear examples of how unrestrained bullying can destroy individuals, families, villages, countries and entire nations.
It does not seem to be a very big step for bullying to grow into bloodshed and war.
Whatever has happened to respect for our fellow human beings?
It seems that power and mindless egotism have taken over from treating others with dignity and respect.
It reveals its ugly head on Facebook, in snide and derogatory remarks intended to belittle another, and exacerbates into full-blown murder and genocide.
Remember the powermongers like Hitler and Mussolini, and Stalin, and Gaddafi, and Pol Pot?
Of course they didn’t have access to Facebook, but it would be fair to suggest that their infamous and horrible regimes did not simply happen overnight.
A huge percentage of today’s world lives under oppressive and dictatorial governments.
What can the rest of us do to put a stop to this?
Maybe the first step is to cultivate conciliation, forgiveness and respect for all people irrespective of race colour or creed.