Bullying is defined as the use of superior strength or influence to intimidate someone — typically to force them to do something. It starts from a young age while we chisel away our younglings into a given version of homo-sapiens in order for them to be able to survive. In fact, all mammals exhibit similar behavior.
Someone would argue that there is a difference between bullying and guiding someone towards proper behavior. I beg to differ. An adult human being dwarfs a child both in power and influence. Children are not only able to recognize power within their environment but also exert it on other children. Violence can be said to come from physical or emotional harm so really, anything can be considered coercive under specific circumstances.
The nurture vs nature debate here is rather silly. Whether we like it or not, life doesn’t care about humanly created concepts such as social norms. It only cares about survival of the most adoptable to ecosystemic changes. Our species exists because it bullied many others. In the past we had our way by spilling blood. Today less so. You see, we have upgraded our ways to slow death that comes from concepts such as social isolation and financial manipulation. The latter could be argued to be awful ways to die since the demise is rather slow and painful. Surely much worse than a bullet painlessly traveling through your head.
Every aspect of our world is dominated by bullying. We might not witness the CEO coercing the employee directly but the dynamic is pretty evident. And no, we can’t do anything about this because we all crave power and we all more or less approve it even if we superficially deny it in savoir-vivre chats among friends.
We crave power and influence when we write a post. We crave power and influence when we try to approach a woman that is also desired from others. We crave power and influence when we go to school, study something and try to beat everyone else by “changing the world”. Power is a mean to itself.
Every single dictator was a humanitarian visionary. Every single one wanted to create a world based on his liking. We have yet to be honest with ourselves and admit that “better” is just subject for interpretation. What is "better" for the spider is not necessarily for the fly that is caught on its web.
We are constantly being found in dynamics of power and there is no hippy-happy way to decipher the narrative. The system is not like this because the 1% wishes it to be so. It is like this because deep down, the vast majority (the dreaded 99%), craves to be the 1%.
We aspire to the 1% that goes by the name of Warren Buffett, Steve Jobs, Shakira, Hawkins because these people define in their way the life for the rest. The create our gadgets and the way we create meaning in our life by using their toys of creation. Sure, there is no zero sum game but life can be pretty shitty in a world when we compare ourselves with what is potentially “better”. Humans are up and foremost emotional beings. It defines us as a species. Having 15% of the population on earth living in relative luxury while the rest struggle daily with food, water and shelter is bullying with just a few extra painful steps in between.
School is nothing more but a micro-version of society. Someone took your launch and called you fat — so you report it to the principal and it goes away. You grow up and someone steals your pension through a rigged social security system. Now what? Where do you report it? Where do you turn and whine about it?
Bullying might suck when we are young. Psychologists might argue that it creates “trauma”. I would argue “So what?”. The world is not a happy place with unicorns and rainbows. We are all by-products of trauma. If you have parents then congratulations. You have issues. We all do. So let's put the drama on the side.
If children learn that the world is a “fair” place then they will have a much harder time when they grow up. Actually, this is exactly the problem today and why our society has manifested into entitlement. People get traumatized way too easy. If any problem emerges, we just pop a pill without even bothering to deal with the situation. We are getting bullied by the ones above us in the pyramid but instead of whining to the principal and our parents, we desensitize ourselves since there is no shoulder to cry to.
Accepting that bullying is inevitable allows us to deal with the harshness of life. Denying its existence puts us in a perpetual cycle of whining and complaining. We are all bullies. The only problem is that we are too busy paying attention to the foot stepping on our neck, ignoring the fact that we are also stepping on someone else's neck.