Human beings have expended great time and effort in the fashioning of moral and ethical systems, but beyond the common sense admonition, “Treat other people as you wish to be treated,” which is fundamental to cultures and religions worldwide, and throughout history, not much has come of it. Maybe we could forget “the rest” of the instructions, and work on this one sufficient behavior.
Do any of these excuses made by school children for incidents of bullying sound familiar?
He started it. (The universal revenge response.)
He hit me first. (The universal violent retaliation response.)
I only stole $10.00; Suzy took her iPhone. (“I’m not as bad as she is” blame reduction)
I thought he was going to hit me, so I hit him first. (The preemptive strike rationalization)
She took my notebook so I had to punch her. (The out-of-proportion retaliation)
She’s a retard; she’s too stupid to even know that we tricked her. (Vulnerable people are fair game)
So I lied; big deal. I got what I wanted. (Narcissism – I’m the center of the universe.)
Everybody does it. (Spread the blame; normalize bad behavior)
He wouldn’t give me his laptop so I beat him up. (If people don’t do what I want, I have the right to hurt them.)
I didn’t do anything. (The simple lie / bluff protest.)
My (Dad, Mom, teacher, the principal, boss) said I could do it. (The appeal to sanction and protection by an authority figure.)
How many adults get beyond this “excuse” stage of development? Social groups? Corporations? Nations?
But, if you are a dedicated bully, you may find yourself at home at the top of the social pyramid $$$ in government, business, the military, Big Pharma, the “helping, caring, fixing industry” or in law enforcement, advertising-media-entertainment and of course politics and the banking-financial industry.
I googled “children draw bullies” but liked these better!