Saturday, December 15, 2012

Mere words.

Two things:

1 - Your political opinions aren't going to actually help the victims in Connecticut tonight, no matter WHAT those opinions are;

2 - Your actionless "thoughts" and "feelings" are going to do just as much for those people in d
esperate need as your political opinions, whatever they are.

Are you satisfied with that? These people are going into CHRISTMAS without their kids, without their spouses... essentially without their breath or their light in their lives...

I can't believe that this is all we can do for them -- merely think to ourselves and feel to ourselves and then post about it to social media websites.

I want to either take action, or give great aid to those who are in better positions to take action, on behalf of these people. I don't believe they're able to be consoled, and so I won't hope to try to, but these people had real-world burdens before this dark day that are continuing on, and I firmly believe that we can help them with those. Something. Anything.

Not nothing. Not words.

(From the site of the shooting.)

Wednesday, October 03, 2012

Bullying and Lionhearts

Wow. This bullying thing never ceases to amaze me (in a bad way, but also in a confusing way).

I grew up being made fun of; I was/am ADHD, was visibly overweight, and was/am just... DIFFERENT ...than most people, which always creates a sense of separation within young minds...

(I must make note here that I am so, so grateful for my different-ness, and I hope with all that is within me that my children share in it. That might be my third-most desired trait in my children.)

But while I was frequently dealing with the negative attention given me, I don't think I ever felt victimized, like something had been done to me and I couldn't neutralize it.  I suppose I felt more engaged, in much the same way that one might be engaged on the battlefield.  If someone said something mean or bad about me, it was always apparent to me that A.) They were incorrect, and B.) I understood why they were incorrect.  This only became more true as my intellect, education, and experience level grew.  Unless of course they were right about something about me, and just being a jerk about it by pointing it out in an unhelpful way, at which point I just disarmed them by confirming in the hearing of their audience that, yeah, they were right about that thing they pointed out (example: that I was visibly overweight at the time) and that I was working on it.  After which I would audibly applaud their powers of perception and congratulate them on their use of their time and attention.

Now, when I hear someone talk about being bullied, there's a part of me that wants to switch places with them.  And while I am ABSOLUTELY a giant softy when it comes to sympathizing and empathizing with victims of bullying, and while I absolutely want to contribute to their lives whatever I can once I hear their story, that's not really what I mean when I say that I wish I could switch places with them.

You see, I really hate bullies.  Not the schoolyard kind that throws "Yo' Mama!" jokes at you, having never met your mother... no, I hate "real" bullies.  I guess that I mean "those people who are bullies on an adult level, regardless of their age."  Basically anyone who intentionally abuses authority.  And when I say hate, I don't mean that I sit and stew over how much I dislike the experience of having to interact with them, either.  No.

When I say that I hate "real" bullies, I mean that whenever I am placed into a long-term situation with them, it is pretty much a law of the universe that I am compelled to END THEM, and that I cannot stop pursuing that goal until it has been completed to my satisfaction.  Not murder, obviously, that's ridiculous, and it would prove nothing; they'd die believing what they wanted to.  No, I mean to break them.  I mean to make it very clear to them how very powerless they really are, and I mean to de-throne them as humiliatingly as possible.  Rip from their desperate fingers every vestige of power that they conceive themselves to possess over me or anyone else.

Now I can understand what you might be thinking: "Oh, big talk, big guy! But that's all a bunch of emotion and wishful-thinking right there!"  And I can sympathize with your skepticism, the world is filled with braggarts and liars, and one can only hear so many false claims before they become deaf to all claims not backed up by empirical evidence.  So let's get down to business, shall we?

Exhibit A: My former boss.  He was escorted out of our store in handcuffs, guilty of a felony.  Finally got caught stealing from our employer.  Couldn't have happened to a nicer guy. One of the worst human beings I've encountered in my entire life.  But more to the point, I had long been seeking his being held accountable for what he had done and what he continued to do, cleverly out of the sight and hearing of those who were in a position to hold him accountable.  This man knew how to avoid being caught.  Well, at least for about 9 years he did.  And people just avoided him as much as they could or left to work elsewhere, miserable until the day they escaped.  Not me.  I will not suffer a bully to continue on in their ways yet enthroned.  It's just not within me to allow it.  I cannot articulate this intensely enough, I *hate* abuse of authority.  With every fiber of my being, I rage against it.  And I will throw myself headlong into whatever solution I deem best to ensure the annihilation of the beliefs of those who willingly practice the abuse of authority.  And so there were many eyes upon him prior to and on the day of his being caught.  The weight of the claims I had made and the weight of the claims I had encouraged fellow co-workers to make ensured that there was no doubt; and that man will have a very, very hard time finding a job worth having.

Exhibits B-Z, etc: While I would relish going into them at length, this has already become considerably more lengthy than I had at first estimated and so I know that I shouldn't. Just know that, initially, I always seek peace, understanding, and authentic communication to the best of my abilities, and then only once I've made the bully publicly demonstrate that they're not interested in peace, so that there is no reservation or doubt by good folks about what I'm about to do, I will I set about whatever course of action is legally possible to freaking dropkick them out of that position of power that they find themselves in.

So yeah, to make the remainder of this post as brief as I can, part of me just really wishes that I could switch places with everyone who's ever been bullied (hi, Scott Bakula!), just because I firmly believe in my ability to overcome bullies and to do so in a way that makes him/her a public example of why bullying is a bad idea.

There are few things so gloriously sublime to me, on a personal level, than to have someone who abuses their authority attempt to exert that authority over me, because I never get any opportunities to really... well... "engage" a person, metaphorically... in day-to-day life, because there aren't actually very many straight-up "bad guys" out there: everyone always has a story and a history that you have to be compassionate about and understanding of if you're living as I believe that you ought to.  But no matter what story you have or where you come from, there are just some things that you don't do, or else you experience the consequences.  There are still some things in life where, if you mess with the bull, you just plain get the horns, no ifs ands or buts.

Inflicting abuse onto innocent people is just one of those things, y'know? One of these days, dudeguy, you're going to try to bully that one person who doesn't conform to the rules of your microcosm, and I hope with all that is within me that that person is me or someone like me, because I am not just an anti-bully, I'm a committed anti-bully, a committed anti-bully who is really good at what he does, and I will. not. stop. until you are engaged in the contextually-appropriate, metaphorical equivalent of laying in the fetal position on the floor crying yourself dry with only your back molars remaining.  Because that's the way that it always should have been.  Because you pushed the pendulum so far in the one direction, and never expected it to come back into balance by being swung the other direction, exactly as far as you pushed it.

Because justice is a real thing, and not some fantasy of the weak and harassed.

Because it was never our place to absolve ourselves of our individual responsibilities to uphold and maintain a sense of, and belief in, justice in our society.

And because I was made to eat people like you for breakfast.

So bring it.  I'm hungry.