There has been much debate in recent times about the act of bullying. Although it is usually associated with the preteen and teen years, mature, fully-grown individuals are by no means immune to such behavior.

In fact, bullying at an early age can lead to serious adult issues that can ultimately prove fatal if left unchecked.

It is relatively safe to say that many of the problems that adults have during their lifetime have roots in actions, treatments and behaviors during childhood.

Although there are no real established guidelines as to how such behavior comes into existence, much of it can be traced to the frame of mind of the individual, whether victim or culprit.

Self-esteem plays an important role. If it is healthy and proper, individuals are less likely to become victims or to victimize others. They usually have a morally correct frame of mind and are highly esteemed and respected by others.

On the other hand, if their state of mind is unhealthy and improper, individuals are more likely to either resort to bullying or succumb to bullying.

They usually possess a morally corrupt frame of mind and are basically shunned or ostracized by others. With that being said, the characteristics of victim and culprit can be fairly easily determined. For the culprit, it is a misguided desire to feel important and powerful. They generally do not have a strong sense of self-esteem or accomplishment, yet feel the need to lift themselves up at the expense of others.

They tend to over-inflate to others whatever achievements they do have to make themselves feel significant, and try to make others submissive to them.

They also tend to place greater importance on themselves and on their own interests than the interests of others or the common good of all. For these types, it’s their way or no way.

For the victim, it’s a sad sense of helplessness, defenselessness and sheer hopelessness.

It is a sorrowful sense of not being able to control their own lives, destiny, environment and status. It is a bleak and lonely feeling of insignificance to themselves and to others, and the constant fear of not being able to defend themselves against negative circumstantial events, as well as the wrath of others.

Self-esteem is virtually non-existent with this person, and, with this constant state of dread, a doomsday self-fulfilling prophecy is eventually manifest, where anything that could possibly go wrong usually does.

The consequences of such dastardly behavior can prove dire and fatal for the victim as well as the culprit, if left unchecked.

The victim will likely involve themselves in suicidal, self-destructive activities, or even involve others in homicidal activities in an effort to either “end it all” or persuade others to sympathize with their plight. The culprit, on the other hand, will initiate such activities to either “prove a point” to others or to persuade them to “end it all” if they don’t do it themselves.

History, both past and recent, is inundated with such melodramatic events. From slavery to ethnic cleansing and mass genocide to concentration camps and terrorism, these tragic events demonstrate how these deeds manifest themselves on a grandiose level. From homicide to fratricide to suicide to just plain dissent and disfavor, these tragic events demonstrate how such deeds manifest themselves on a personal level.

With all of this in mind, the question is “how do we do away with or at least severely limit such detrimental behavior?” On a large scale, unfortunately, there is much work to be done and the solution is much easier said than done.

On a personal level, however, it can start with the frame of mind of the individual, although that in itself is a task of its own.

Simply put, it is up to the individual to ensure that they are treated fairly, and that they reciprocate that treatment to others.

It is up to them to have a healthy regard for human life and that they themselves are not contributing to the world’s problems.

That is, they are not playing the game of predator and prey. Then the individual can be on the road to a quality, productive life.

Jackson can be reached at jjackson@campustimes.org.



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