Thursday, November 10, 2011

Living in a Bully World

One time, as I was walking along Claro M. Recto in Manila, I saw a group of young beggars screaming while throwing stones from one corner to another. Broken glass littered the main street. As I yelled to warn them, I saw a thin woman with longhair sitting at the corner of a cluttered area. As I observed, she was having difficulty breathing as she was trying to lift her head to grasp for air. As I tried to reach out to her to ask if she was fine, she got restless. Taking a closer look, I noticed that her bony hand was chained. She was insane, and she was bullied.

The woman was a picture of helplessness. She was weak not because of her insanity, but because she was a victim of bullying. Wikipedia defines “bullying” as a form of aggressive behavior, which may manifest as abusive treatment, the use of force or coercion to affect others, particularly when habitual and involving an imbalance of power. It may involve verbal harassment, physical assault or coercion and may be directed persistently towards particular victims, perhaps on grounds of race, religion, gender, sexuality, or ability. The "imbalance of power" may be social power and/or physical power. The victim of bullying is sometimes referred to as the "target." Bullying consists of three basic types of abuse – emotional, verbal, and physical.

Life becomes more complicated and exhausting not because of the people around us but because of how we treat them and how they afflict us. Working in a place with different kinds of personalities and attitudes, experiencing unfair treatment & judgment from a co-worker is like being a comic-hero, Tarzan, trying to survive in the jungle. You’re like living in a bully world. Your sanity will surely be tested. Battling with your emotion is just a normal phase if you want to survive. For me dealing with all this simply calls for one solution --- always try to see things in a different perspective. As Ellen De Generes’ said, “Be kind to one another.” Maybe someday I would be known not as a woman with a great attitude, but rather as a person who has no enemy. It makes more sense to me. I’m crossing my fingers. It is really hard to live by this principle, but it is truly rewarding for someone like me.


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