When I was in elementary school and even before that, me and many of my peers were being bullied by the stronger kids, especially the older ones. When my parents found out they contacted the other parents and my school to make them lecture my tormentors, needless to say it led to me being bullied and beaten even more severely for many more years. Instead another classmate of mine didn’t have parents that was so “caring” so he had to figure out how to solve the problem with the bullies himself.
So one day before class we were gathered outside the school, my friend just walked up to one of the fat older bullies and without a warning pushed him to the ground and started pounding his face in. The fat bully screamed for help but his bullying friends just watched it happen with awe. My friend ended the beating with the words “if you even breath around me I will beat you to death you fat peace of shit”. The bullies never bothered my friend again, his self-esteem went up along with his grades, training results and ability to ask girls out. I believe that this became a rite of passage for him.
For me it would take another two years of bullying and getting my ass kicked before I had another “rite of passage” when me and a friend borrowed his older brothers motorcycle and tried to run away from the cops. At that time I was too young to get any penalty by the police but I earned the respect from my older peers and were left in peace, at least for a few years before I entered a multicultural gymnasium, but that is another story.
The point with this anecdote is that my parents with all well-meaning did me a great disservice by not teaching me that bullying and fighting is a part of life and that the earlier you start to fight back the stronger you will be mentally and you will gain peace enough to focus on other pursuits and the self-esteem to accept other challenges of life. My friend who beat up the bully told me a decade later that he is grateful that he got his ass beaten so early and so hard that it made him toughen up and grow up much earlier than the other guys in our class, many of them are still pussies to this day.
Now I am in my mid-thirties and just recently I started developing the grit and toughness I needed more than twenty years ago, but better late than never, I am just glad that I didn’t wake up to this realization on my deathbed knowing that I wasted my whole life playing it safe. My father grew up with a extremely mean father, bullying and poverty, his parents died when he was still a kid so he had to grow up very fast to work two jobs and study at night to be able to support his other siblings.
So to compensate for his hard upbringing he instead showered me and my brother with gifts, safety and all the candy we could eat. He still thought me many good lessons and he could be very strict, but he didn’t realize that the fact that he had managed to become an accomplished athlete, a grade A student, win the hearth of a model, become one of the greatest programmers in the country and build his own company was because of his tough upbringing not despite of it. At the end of January I will have a son and I will not make the same mistake with him. I am not saying I will become a mean tyrant to make him tough, but I will be honest with him about the real conditions of life.
I hate bullies, but the truth is that bullying is a natural part of life (even though it can be taken to far of course). Bullying exists with most species in nature where the weakest often get picked, clawed or smashed to death or just left behind which often is even worse in the wild. Bullying and fighting is also a way to establish hierarchies, even among bullies there is a picking order. I am not encouraging bullying, but at least a healthy dose of shaming, name-calling and subduing is necessary. For most of our existence until very recently this was a matter of life and death. Because if you choose people who didn’t measure up to protect your borders, to hunt or raid an enemy village, just one weak link that tries to flee from combat could crush the morality of your peers and encourage the enemy to wipe all of you out. So stop postpone the unavoidable, learn how to fight and get down to business!