Saturday, May 24, 2014

Bullying is pervasive---from the schoolyard, to the police and in polictics.

Bullying takes many forms and reaches the highest levels of society; the latter being up for discussion as to what that represents. How many young peoples' lives have been ruined  or at least 'limited' by an experience that some parents (and teachers) say is just part of life and that the recipient should 'toughen up?' Move up the food chain a bit and you will find work-based bullying, where victims are hounded out of a job, or are forced to live miserable lives because their options re finding another job are either limited or stunted by the experience, having had their confidence bashed against the wall of indifference on the part of their employers.
'But it's against the law,' you say. Well, yes it is and there are laws around work place health and safety, so you would expect to see solutions based on good work practice and a response from the police in certain situations. Then you read about the latest example of 'in-house police bullying, because yes, it exists within our esteemed police force. There too it takes all the forms witnessed in society as a whole. After all, the police reflect the values of society in general.
One does not have to look too closely into the 'halls of power' to see the same old devil playing out its ugly game. I leave you to ruminate in a non-gastric manner to find examples of such scenarios in that 'dog eat lesser dog' playing field.
If bullying exerts such negative influences on so many 'stages,' then why are we not paying more attention to it? Of course there many initiatives within schools, to combat bullying and we read about success stories from time to time, but how many of those shining examples become enmeshed as the 'norm,' before they unravel, due to lack of funding and the positive effects watered down, because the students go home (and the teachers) to houses of horror, where it all begins again.
My point is that no 'one sector' of society can take bullying on in a vacuum, be it schools, the workplace or the house of power--Parliament. We must have a all-embracing approach, be willing to constantly talk about the scourge of bullying, having a common practise to expose, educate and seek solutions. Until bullying is recognised as one of the biggest issues facing our nation, then we will continue to spoil lives, indeed 'end lives, and leave those who make decisions merely continuing what has always been. Surely we can raise above our past and kind a 'Kiwi' way of both excelling but without leaving the carnage that success can sometimes bring when it is accompanied by a 'need to putdown or damage our fellow citizens,'  Check out the link to explore another form of bullying.

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