Neil Tambe

I'm a Detroiter who happens to enjoy writing, national parks, orange juice, the performing arts, and fanciful socks. More than anything though, I aspire to be a good husband, father, and citizen.

Bullies

TAKAYAMA, JAPAN — This is admittedly oversimplified, but a helpful frame I think. 

Something I’ve felt and seen over and over is that humans have a strong desire not to be bullied. It seems to me there are two alternatives to being bullied. 

First, become a bully. This is easy in the short run, but destroys your life in the long run.

Second, have the courage to stand up to a bully (or ignore them). This is really hard in the short run, but much more peaceful in the long run.

There seem to be only two equilibrium states: everyone is a bully or nobody is a bully. What we get is determined by our choices (or lack of choices).

What’s also hard is that it’s easy to fool ourselves — and I’ve done this myself — into thinking we’re a courageous hero, when we’re really just another bully.