On Acting like Grownups ...


Whenever I read the news these days, I am reminded of an elementary school with 200 or so kids on the playground.

Basically, you have 3 or 4 bullies hanging around, the biggest and loudest of the group, pushing and shoving each other and engaging in wars-of-words and fabricated, or at least exaggerated, accusations of bad behaviour.  They're trying to steal each others sports gear, and each one is prepared to defend themselves with a baseball bat or hockey stick.  There is always 1 or 2 outsiders that are trying to enter this group, but they're generally rejected or forced through a degrading hazing ritual to gain acceptance.

At the other end of the playground you have a few young lost souls.  They are trying to figure out how they fit in a world in which they don't seem to be included, or even considered.  They're seen as odd and weak by the bullies and often suffer from physical and verbal aggression.

Then there are the middle 150.  Boys and girls in groups of 5 or 6, hanging out, getting to know each other and learning from each other.  They exchange ideas freely and support each other.  They mingle and interact with the other groups with respect.  The boys play silly games together and the girls generally watch and shake their heads at the stupidity.

The problem is when the bullies turn on each other, or anyone else, everyone gets hurt.  The outcome is usually either a severe beating OR bats and sticks swung so wildly that nearby neighbours and casual observers are in the line of fire and also have to deal with the damage and destruction that is the outcome of massive conflict.

Right now I feel like my beloved Canada is seated right next to the biggest bully.  We're expected to nod in agreement with every insult or face a bullies wrath.  We have to watch our own words for fear of being lumped in with the lost and bullied souls.  We have to keep our eyes open so that we are not accidentally struck by an errant bat swing.  And all the meanwhile we are having to keep peace in our own house, attend to our sick, and ensure our own people are not drawn into bully rhetoric.  We try to lead by example, through caring, for our own people, for our groups of friends and to lift up those who are in trouble and struggling.

Some people say the average persons intellectual age is somewhere between 8 and 13 - other people prove it!

#nationalpride #canada #bullying #growup

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