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Adult bullies who have not outgrown their childhood narcissism probably do qualify, but little kids are just going to be that way.
I'm 40 years old now; it's been something like 30 years since that sort of thing last happened.In this spirit, I offer my self-disclosure (and hijack Bill's) as seed for discussion.There are lots of programs designed to help schools and other institutions prevent bullying.As part of his punchline, he commented that he would have gladly subjected himself to the worst abuse Michael has been accused of perpetrating rather than having to endure that single beating.The comment resonated with me, probably because like Bill, I too was bullied as a kid, and also found the experience to be pretty ugly.However, I'm quite confident that it will never go away entirely.
It seems to me that bullying is just one of those things that are just a part of human nature.
You know how jokes are often funny because they are based in an ugly truth?
I had a new realization of that phenomena while watching Bill Maher's new stand-up comedy special "The Decider" on HBO the other night.
Something that can be suppressed but not eliminated.
Where I want to go with this essay is not to talk about how to make bullying stop, but rather, to explore the sorts of damage bullies do to their victims, and to discuss a few paths through which some of that damage can be, at least in part, undone.
In making the second statement I'm suggesting that ring-leader bullies (those who organize bullying) are behaving as though the emotional and physical health of their victims is not important or is at least less important than their own desire for the thrill of aggression and dominance.