Poet Shane Koyczan talks about bullying at the TedTalks
Jack Hoban often says that Ethics are from the inside out, while Laws are from the outside in. He goes on to say that if we don't exercise our ethics from the inside out our neighbors may try to exert laws to keep people in check from the outside in.
My spin on this idea regarding Protection, Empowerment, choosing to be a bully or a Protector:
Being protected can be done for you or by you. However, being Empowered and an Ethical Protector can only be done from the Inside Out. Finding your voice is important. Because without it you may never know what to stand up for or that you can even stand up at all.Your protection can be compromised or taken away, however you can only Choose to Give your Empowerment Away.
(That paragraph sounded like a little Craig Gray poetry right there mother trucker! I'm a poet and I didn't even know it. Just insert the beat! ...I'm cracking myself up this morning!)
It is easier for me to be a Protector if I am Empowered, because I am more likely to respect the Universal Life Value of self and all others. If I am not Empowered my idea of protection may be perverted to only protect those relative values of myself and/or my own group, resulting in the many forms of bullying & violence. It takes clarity and internal strength to see beyond your own fears of others relative values, differences & behavior. To have the strength to manage negative or violent behavior without judgment of another individual or group is even more difficult when we can be hurt in some way as well (emotional, social, physical, financial, etc). To respect the Life of Everyone while professionally dealing with the negative, sometime frightful or monstrous behavior is tough. It can sometimes be difficult to understand what would bring a "normal human being like you and I" to such actions or social customs. How could someone even do something like THAT?" This disconnect along with a fear of being threatened can initiate a protection response in us. When we feel this fear it is normal to want to defend or stand up for ourselves in some way. Being that it hurts us to hurt others, we try to separate emotionally from those we feel we need to defend against. That's when our brains begin to justify our need to defend while rationalizing the decision. We being to separate ourselves from the other to minimize the damage it does to our psyche. I call it the Justification Continuum. (But I'll explain that in more detail on another day).
For today I would like you to finish reading this and then watch Shane Koyczan's video above. It's very moving. You see, bullying starts young and it doesn't stop, we don't always "grow out" of it. We get older and the bullies do as well. And they take their bullying from the playgrounds to their wife and their husbands, to their kids, their jobs, their communities, their countries, the world, the universe.
People find themselves in positions of influence and power for only a handful of reasons:
1) You wake up one day wondering, Holy S#@T how did I get here?!
2) You enjoy inspiring people, leading, helping, being a protector, making a difference.
3) Your mom, dad, uncle, friend or relative owns the company or country. (You snicker, but you know it's true)
4) You're a bully and seek higher positions to make yourself feel better (which doesn't work). You believe that by having a high position will shield you from others bullying you and at the same time you can exert control over them.
I was bullied when I was a kid, but I was lucky to have found my voice early on. And when I did I figured that other people didn't like being bullied either, so being that I had a skill (martial arts) that could help others find their voice too, I began teaching. It felt good to provide an environment, a laboratory if you will, for people to find their own voice and practice using it.
As I grow older I realize that being a protector vs. helping a person to embrace their own protector nature is like the old analogy of giving a man a fish rather than teaching someone to fish. You remember it right? "Give someone a fish and they eat for a day, teach someone to fish and they can eat their entire life."
So, I embraced the same philosophy: Protect someone and they are safe that moment. Help someone find their Voice, embrace their Protector Nature and they live an Empowered Life!
I choose to do both: Protect life and inspire others to find their voice, their empowerment to embrace their Protector Nature themselves!
Now we're talking some real traction!
Enjoy the ride... it goes fast!
P.S. Thanks Shane for the beautiful words and your Powerful Positive Emotions . You change lives by saying what others can feel but struggle to express. Keep going brother!