“Courage is fire, and bullying is smoke.”– Benjamin Disraeli
Bullying is a pattern of behaviour wherein someone hurts or humiliates others repeatedly. It may be physical or psychological, or a combination of both. It may exist for a short while or a lifetime, and causes deep physical and psychological scars within a victim. The bully exploits the victims and harasses them to derive sadistic pleasure. Young as well as old people who have low self-esteem or are timid usually become prey to bullying. Lately, cyberbullying has become a major concern among young people.
There are various ways in which we can stand up, as individuals and as a society. If we ourselves are being bullied, sharing the situation with a mentor or personal counsellor will help massively, as they can guide us in tackling the matter wisely. There are also various organizations and helplines that work in this area.
Being reactive may only worsen the situation. Jesus taught that the best way to put a bully to shame may be through active kindness shown to her/him in return of the misbehaviour. This is not a cowardly retreat or a resignation in the face of bullying; it is a proactive way of standing up to it. But Jesus also taught us that as a society, we must strive to stand with those who are weaker and oppressed. So in case we know someone who is being bullied or see such behaviour happening before our eyes, it is our duty to resist and confront it in a loving yet firm manner.