On Bullying

What makes a bully? I wonder.
Stomping on people, crushing them under your feet.
Is that fun?
Is that why bullying’s done?
Seems like a cheat to me. And dumb.
Does it make the bully happy?
Does it make the bully’s life sweet?
No, I don’t think so.
It makes life sour. Bitter. Yucky.
It makes life barely bearable. If the bully’s lucky.
Some bullies can’t bear life at all.
They feel small.
Unloved and unlovable.
Which is doubly tragic don’t you think?
Don’t you think that stinks?
Bullies miss out on the most important thing,
Which is happiness.
The bliss of feeling genuinely good.
And happiness, I’ve observed,
Comes from a life served up for others.
Happiness comes from love. Loving. Being loved. Love.
That’s the most important thing.
Better an idiot with a heart than a heartless king.
A bully might grow up to be a heartless king
But without love and happiness, that isn’t worth a thing.
Not a thing.
What’s a king
Compared to happiness and love?
That, above all,
Is what makes all the rest
It’s what makes any life blessed.
So bullies, why not smile instead of frown?
Why not turn life upside down
And make it good?
That’s the only should in life, the only ought to.
You should make life good
If only because you can.
Because I can. And anything I can do you can do better.
I’d bet on it.
I’d bet I’m a bigger twit than you.
Bullies, if you’ve got the guts to act like a dope and a fool
Then you’ve got the guts to change.
To be good instead of cruel.
To be brave enough to love and be loved,
Which is sometimes the hardest thing to do,
While it’s all too easy to be cruel.
And so addictive too, like a drug,
Acting like a thug to feel stronger, smarter, cooler
What good does it do you to be cruel?
It only does you harm and does harm to others too.
Don’t kid yourself. Don’t tell yourself lies.
Don’t disguise your wrongdoing
As “just for fun.”
No one
Believes that, not even you.
Who’s kidding who?
Bullies, if you’re so strong then prove it.
Picking on the weak just makes a dummy out of you
And it feels pretty crummy too.
It’s wrong to think that cruelty is strong.
Do you want to know what’s strong?
Happiness is.
If you doubt it try it out. It’s powerful.
And the power to be happy has been in you all along
Because happiness comes from love. Loving. Being loved. Love.
And love is always there if you look.
It’s there if you let it be.
It’ll hook you through and through.
Look. I dare you. It’s there. You’ll see.
And you’ll see that love and happiness move you.
They have strength to move mountains. They’re the fountains of life.
And they’re as contagious as truth.
Especially in youth.
You, you youth, can be the most powerful of us all
If you figure out happiness and love
Now, now, now,
Before you learn cruelty and hate
And apathy, indifference to the state of others.
Before it’s too late
For the roots of your youth
To grow in healthy soil.
Happy soil.
Soil rich with love.
Love is the weirdest thing.
I don’t know where it comes from.
I don’t know what it’s made of
Or what it does
Or why.
But it has this weird effect.
It makes life better.
Better and better and better.
Do you know that without love we don’t survive?
That means that without love, we don’t want to be alive.
We need it more than air.
Or maybe, just as much,
But that’s still a lot, is it not?
I think so.
And love is there
If you dare to look.
It’s there if you let it be.
At least, that’s how it works with me.
So here’s an idea:
Live radically. Love yourself and others and see
If that makes life better or not.
If that makes you freer or not.
If it makes you stronger.
If it heals the pain.
If it makes you well again.
Or not.
Try it.
You’ll see.
Good fruit hanging from that tree.
And that’s why bullying makes no sense to me.
It makes no sense
To bully.
It’s the worst defence against feeling crappy.
It’s so strange to me that in exchange for brief relief
You pass along the curse, you make others feel worse,
And in doing so you must know
That you compromise your goodness, your reason, your ability to love and be happy.
And all in the name of fun.
For shame.
Don’t play that game.
You’ll only gain regret when all is said and done.
And pain.
Bullying hurts.
Don’t it?
Some people won’t admit
When they’ve been bullied
Or when they’ve bullied someone else.
The lies we tell ourselves and others
When we’re afraid to face the truth
Or ashamed.
I can’t stand the thought of our youth
Living that way.
Afraid and ashamed.
Claim your right to be happy instead.
Be in the business of making life better,
Turn the world on its head.
Make life something to enjoy, not endure.
Truth, love, happiness. That’s the cure
For all that ails you.
Do you know that when you’re happy
You want others to be happy too?
It’s true.
So if someone wants others to hurt,
Like a bully wants others to hurt,
How do you think that someone feels?
Hurt here. Hurt there. Hurt everywhere.
Too much hurt.
Too much, too much.
So much I don’t even know where to begin to heal it.
That’s how deeply I feel it, that’s how deeply I care.
Whatever my shirt says, I care.
Too much hurt out there and it’s spreading like the deuce.
But here’s the good news:
Out of great suffering comes compassion.
I’ve experienced it.
You might experience it too one day.
You will be hurt,
Somewhere along the way
You’ll be ground down in the dirt.
And if you’re strong,
Strong enough to overcome,
Strong enough to learn from suffering,
You’ll earn compassion.
And with it, strength to move mountains
If that’s what it takes to make the suffering stop.
Make life good instead.
Turn the world on its head.
Convert the hurt into compassion.
Damaged muscles thicken up,
Damaged hearts beat harder
When they heal.
Healing fuels a righteous fury, a real passion for life and the wellness of others.
Ask any soldier, gardener or mother,
They’ll tell you so. They know.
They’ve looked at life that closely.
They’ve played a role
In the rigmarole of survival.
And they’ve seen as I’ve seen that when you overcome hardship
Your roots grip a little more firmly
To the soil
Of happiness and love.
Don’t succumb to the hurt. Pick yourself up, dust off the dirt and overcome.
See just how strong you can be.
For real.
Not muscle stuff,
Not huffing and puffing to get your way.
Give me a break.
The games we play.
Power through shoving versus power through loving.
They don’t compare.
Someone will always shove harder.
Love is smarter. It’s the only way to play fair
And it’s the only way to win.
With love, even when you lose you win
Because happiness comes from love.
And if you’re happy,
You win.
So love yourself and everyone else.
For real.
That’s how to heal.
That’s how to reveal
The powerful heart buried beneath all the crap,
The act that the bully puts on.
The trap that the bully’s foot’s caught in,
The cage that the bully calls home sweet home.
Enough with the hurt, enough with the rage.
Make it stop!
Do whatever it takes
To stop the contagion of hurt.
Do the only thing you can do:
Make it stop with you.
Learn how to do this now.
Don’t allow the cycle to cycle through you.
Whatever you can do to stop it, do!
There will always be people who hurt you
And you’ll keep hurting others too.
Believe me,
Whether you want to or not you do
End up hurting others.
Even mothers hurt their children sometimes
When that’s the last thing in the world they want to do.
So do the only thing you can do.
Even when you’re powerless,
You have the power to forgive.
That is how to live free
Instead of miserably.
That is how to convert the hurt into compassion.
It’s the freest action and the only freedom that can never be taken away.
No one can break you that way unless you let them.
No one can take away your power to forgive,
To live free, to be well again
Whatever the pain. Whatever hell you’ve lived through.
So pay attention to forgiveness in your life,
It’s the most important thing because it restores your ability to love.
And love can make a heaven out of any hell.
It’s the cure.
Love is pure, it washes out the stain of hurt and makes a person well again.
I was unwell for a very long time
Before I figured that out.
Be smarter than me.
Don’t live too much of your life miserably
In memory
Of hurts past.
Hurt need not last.
Convert the hurt into compassion.
Show that no, you didn’t break through,
You didn’t take my ability to love and be loved.
To mine own self be true.
Know myself.
I know I’ve still got it,
A good heart skilled in the lost art of love.
I think you do too. I think everybody does.
But all too many of us have bullied.
It’s all too easy.
It makes me queasy to think how easy it is to be cruel.
To prove yourself a fool
By treating others like one.
It’s as easily said as done.
I have bullied too.
I too have been a fool.
It’s all too easy.
But cruelty need not be
An enduring state.
Every day is a clean slate.
You are the author of your life.
Write it well.
What the hell.
Make it good.