I have to admit. Waking up everyday with a new report of another crime, a vicious comment about someone, a video fueling the rage of any number of people from all over showing that in spite of time and supposed progression, mentally and emotionally the human race is mostly very much the same as our predecessors just with Internet, better clothing and bigger and better ways to cause each other to suffer. Bullies are mostly drawn attention to if they are children, but what about the adult bullies? Childhood bullying however cruel usually will have an end when someone will stand up to say “no more”. Adult bullies come in different shapes and forms. They can be a coworker, a boss, a neighbor, a cop, a doctor, a lawyer, a government official, even a stranger. All over the news, there are countless stories of injustice very many which stem from prejudice, hate and an inherent blood lust for pain and misery. Is it the long struggle of minorities against the “white betters”? Is it a need to be seen powerful through force no matter the cost? Is it just history repeating itself in a different time with new players in the roles?
We now live in a world technologically, politically, and educationally that even only 50 years ago would not have been easily dreamed of. Does that make us better? Does that prove our advancement? Only to a point. While yes, what those predecessors had been working towards all those years ago has come to the present; the prejudices of the past have come with it. The certainty that even with the opportunities out in the world made “openly” to all who seek them is not made for everyone in the same way is still there. I wonder if looking to the past and seeing so many parallels to the present, what will the world look like in another 50 years? Will there be anything in the future to compare to the past to really decide whether if and how we can move forward? For a time with some many resources at our fingertips, how it is that such a willful blindness can persist? We’re a society made with a glass house ideology that as long as we’re who we are, nothing else matters. If it doesn’t affect me and mine, then it has nothing to do to me. Don’t be fooled by this ideology. We are all human and should not only stand up to be counted for the cause when it affects our race, our group, our sources. Hate knows no color, it knows no position, it knows no separation in who to target. It only knows that it wants division. It wants blood, it wants more and more chaos. Why is it that we live in a world in which action is only effective when paired with aggression? And when it is paired with aggression, it has to overtake everything in its path forcing a surrender by any means necessary.
Instead of leading the way with violence, can we not inject learning into the mix? Can we not add knowledge as a weapon to the arsenal? Can we not find a way to finally see that the “I’m better than you” idea of class and status is there because we ourselves have done so? It is true that there is a classification of those who are in positions of leadership because they have the qualities necessary to do what is needed. There are also some who take those positions and can’t handle the power but know how to keep it and make those they lead the worse for it.
We make challenges for sport, to draw attention to a cause, to make a point and for many other things. And in closing, I make this challenge. For those who see themselves as leaders, remember that to lead by example is through more than to do so in front of the crowd, it is behind closed doors, it is in your convictions, it is your character, it is every part of you. In spite of the popular quote, “absolute power corrupts absolutely”, it is not power itself that corrupts; it is mental, it is emotional, it is moral. We stand or we fall based on what hill we allow ourselves to die on or even if we intend to show at all. We are remembered for the great and the terrible. What we seem to forget is that what happens in the middle affects the outcome whether great or terrible. In the work that is done, have we gained victory in becoming something more or have we made ourselves a prisoner of a specter given a body through our actions?