Thursday, September 13, 2012

What is a 'Bully', anyway?

   I am absolutely confused with our culture's somewhat recent fascination with 'bullying.' From Lady Gaga tweeting things about "bullies" and Dateline NBC doing entire specials on teens who have committed suicide--supposedly because the kids at school were mean to them--I seriously feel like I cannot get away from the horrors of bullying. If you were to believe the media, bullies are everywhere!

   Particularly disturbing to me is that if you google "bullying", the first thing that pops up is a government website. The fact that our tax dollars have gone to the creation of a website--let alone the people behind it--dedicated to "stop bullying" should worry you for several reasons.

1. "Bullying" is subjective. I see examples of this at work all the time. The lazy folk that don't like to work find those of us in management to be "bullies" because we attempt to get work out of them. Even this government website admits that bullying can be "real or perceived." Since when is it the government's job to control or in any way interfere with the perceptions of its contituents?

2. Is this country so dumbed down that we need an entire website to explain the concept of someone who is 'mean'? Are we such a rich country that we can afford to be footing the bill on such an inane project?

3. The most worrisome issue for me is this--how in the world is it the government's job to parent our children? I.E., explain to them what a bully is, how not to be one, and how not to be a 'victim' of one?

    Well here's my theory on all of that. Our culture has become one of such absolute dependence on the government that yes, absolutely, my generation *does* believe that the government should have at least some role in the parenting of our own children. There may be a few reasons for this, but I would postulate that the number one reason for such a sad, dismal, pathetic, minimal view of parenting is that our parents neglected to parent us.

    You see, I was one of the minority in high school in that my parents were still married. Or even that my parents ARE married, or that they LIVE TOGETHER, made me a minority. Is it really such a shock then that we are a generation of kids who do the most minimal work possible, and believe that the government should step in and buy us the things we can't, because we don't want to put in the work to get better jobs and better our own lives? Is it such a surprise when we have children with our summer flings and an entire generation of people is being murdered in the womb or raised by single mothers?

   I hear adults lament the stupidity of my generation constantly and yes...we are incredibly stupid. Look at the suit and tie that we elected to the White House all because he had an artsy poster and MTV subliminally told us to. But, may I ask, what was our example? Was it the generation before us, that screamed loudly from the rooftops that they didn't care what their president did to that intern, it's his business! Was it the parents who stayed together, honored marriage, and taught us responsibility?

    I am surrounded by girls my age whose hearts are broken over their father's desertion. An entire generation of men who refused to raise their children--and then we act surprised when the children act like they were never raised.

   I am surrounded by girls who feel 'empowered' to take on single motherhood because their moms did it. These are the same girls who feel 'empowered' to have sex with whoever they want and to party all weekend because our society has tried to tell them that they can have it all. Their hearts aren't scarred. Their fatherless children aren't affected.

What a bunch of lies.

Anyway, I digress.

   The point is, it should be *in the home* that children are raised. Proverbs 22:6, "Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it." It is the parents job to teach children the difference between right and wrong, how to behave, how to interact appropriately with other children, not our school system. I find it hilarious that the same people who scream for education reform are the ones gagging the system with seminars on "bullying." When did it become the government's job to train our children how to be nice?

 I would submit to you that the "bullies" I knew in grade school were often the kids I watched linger on their walk home because "home" wasn't so much of a great place to be. Bullies often learn how best to bully from their parents....and by parents I mean, mom and this week's "boyfriend." Or mom and dad on the verge of divorce. Or how about....just mom?

    We are a culture of no-responsibility. No responsiblity for the parents to train their children, no responsiblity for the children to own their actions. Is it such a surprise how many of our neighbors live off welfare? Living a life of no responsiblity comes now with a government check attached, and when their kids turn out to be lifelong members of the jail system, we get to pay for their kids, too!

    The culture of self-love has turned us into a bunch of hateful, lazy, government dependent, undereduated and overfed people who constantly have our hands out for everything. The culture of 'me' has made us the kind of parents that can't even raise our own children with some semblance of respect for others, and then we turn around and wait for the government to "fix" it for us.

   My recommendation? Parents: get married, stay married. Demonstrate respect for your spouse in your home, and I bet the kids you send off to school will be much less likely to be "bullies" or to be a victim of bullying (also less likely to be a victim of bad grades and jail time). Kiddos: Show respect, get respect. Don't like what your classmate says about you? Congratulations, welcome to the real world, where not everyone you meet is going to want to be your friend.

    Ultimately, any 'goodness' to be found in any person, no matter how they are raised, is a sign of God's grace and restraining hand. This must be acknowledged. I do believe that no matter how much training or discipline or Godly parenting anyone undergoes, ultimately the 'good' in any person is a blessing from the Lord.

I am thankful for my parents, who stayed together, who showed each other respect and love in the home, and thus taught my brother and I respect.

Please don't get me wrong....I feel for children. Being a child is hard, especially considering that children can often be so harsh and mean to one another (Psalm 51:5 "Surely, I was born a sinner..."). Mostly I just wanted to address what the government's role in all of this is....and how it's disturbing that think they have a role in 'parenting' children at all.


On a completely different note, I want to say thank you to everyone (and there were a lot of you, so I'm sorry I didn't get to say this to you individually) who have poured out your prayers after reading my last blog post. The support and kind words have been so invaluable and comforting to me. Please continue to pray, and thank the Lord especially for all the wonderful work He is doing.

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