Bullying isn't what you think it is; it's not quite the movement we've been led to believe in popular media.
John Cloud of Time, in a feature article, demonstrates the myths of the bullying epoch we seem to live in:
Other numbers suggest that many students are both victims and victimizers. In a survey of 43,000 high school students completed in 2010, the Josephson Institute's Center for Youth Ethics found that 47% had "been bullied, teased or taunted" at school but " that 50% had been bullies themselves. This suggest a lot of overlap between the two groups, meaning that the world isn't cleanly divided into bullies and victims.
Cloud goes on to describe this truth in particulars.
Lowe, who has been a principal in middle schools for 25 years, has found that bullying incidents are rarely simple cases of cool kids attacking outcasts. Once she starts poking around, she says, "I can guarantee you that no one is innocent on any of this. Something has come before."
We are both victims and victimizers. Both innocent and guilty.
In similar reading on Bensonian, I'm glad sociologists and principals are picking up on what Dickens so long again did.
Reviewing Robert Douglas-Fairhurst’s book Becoming Dickens: The Invention of a Novelist, Michiko Kakutani writes:
In a remarkable account of a meeting [Dostoevsky] had with Charles Dickens in 1862, Dostoyevsky recalled that the British novelist told him: “All the good simple people in his novels, Little Nell, even the holy simpletons like Barnaby Rudge, are what he wanted to have been, and his villains were what he was (or rather, what he found in himself), his cruelty, his attacks of causeless enmity toward those who were helpless and looked to him for comfort, his shrinking from those whom he ought to love, being used up in what he wrote. There were two people in him, he told me: one who feels as he ought to feel and one who feels the opposite. From the one who feels the opposite I make my evil characters, from the one who feels as a man ought to feel I try to live my life. ‘Only two people?’ I asked.”
Truly, our sociologists and novelists are only confirming what Saint Paul understood years ago, and even saints before him. That we are both created in the image of God and subject to the Fall. Saint Paul says it a little better than I do.
So I find this law at work: Although I want to do good, evil is right there with me. For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; but I see another law at work in me, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within me. What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death? Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord!
When we realize that evil cuts straight through the heart of even ourselves, we will seek a savior.