Bully: (n) a person who uses strength or power to harm or intimidate those who are weaker.
Shakespeare was convinced that all the world’s a stage, and each one of us are actors performing a part.
It’s an interesting theory–but actually, all the world is an improvisational troupe with seven members–but only four usually show up. So rather than having a role, you end up making up what’s going to happen next, and also filling in for those who fail to appear.
That’s more accurate.
So the truth of the matter is, sometimes we may accidentally, or even purposely, find ourselves in the position of being a bully.
Was the United States a bully when it went into Vietnam? By the definition afforded us by Webster, we were certainly trying to take over a weaker people. Yes, control a debilitated nation.
Is it bullying when we ask people to motivate folks to do their best?
Does a football coach bully a player who’s not playing up to his ability by temporarily humiliating him in front of the team?
If you’re going to make a practice of finding the faults of others and pointing them out to produce ridicule, then I think you’re officially a bully.
But if you occasionally find yourself needing to motivate a friend by challenging him or her by pointing out laziness and lack of will, then you’re probably not a bully. You may be doing the work of the angels.
Over half of the things I’ve learned about life and how to treat other people were acquired in school as a child by interacting on the playground.
- I suppose it could be said I was bullied to catch a ball.
- I was bullied into playing two-square, even though I was told it was a girl’s game.
- I was bullied into running faster so the hit I made during baseball could be a double instead of just a single.
It doesn’t mean there weren’t bullies on the playground, who did nothing but find the weaker brothers and sisters and humiliate them for no reason at all.
But if I had the ability to do better and was challenged to do it, that’s not bullying. That’s friendship.
If it’s out of my control–like having a fat belly or stubby legs–then that’s downright mean.