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Sticks and stones aren't all that hurts

“Bully for you.” Remember that saying? Like it’s OK to bully your way through whatever, wherever, whenever, go ahead, push, pull, be bold and assert yourself.

Yes, there are times when thoughtful goal setting may be necessary in this world, but that is not bullying as outlined below. I remember one time when my husband and I pushed our way into Kids Unlimited to see Barack Obama when he came through Medford in 2008. If you attended and were squeezed that morning, you can probably blame us.

Should I call that “soft” bullying? I don’t think we physically harmed anyone or damaged any psyche. My friend Jim Meissner sent me the below definitions. Take a look and do an honest self-assessment. Share this with your friends, kids and grandkids so they can realize the injury it does and assess behaviors or themselves or friends. Remember the saying, “Sticks and stones may break my bones but names will never hurt me?” There are professionals who refuse to read reviews because they know the hurt. As we age we hopefully learn to let insults run off, but younger people and children usually can’t.

Bullying takes many forms. We have an “inner” bully too. Watch your thoughts to see if you bully yourself or others internally. Well, no harm done except you are still living in bully-land. What is the thought doing to you? Is it making you happy? Bottom line is the bully, aka everybody, needs love. Give love to your holy mind but accept no blame because it comes from the false ego that lurks equally in everyone. Just change your mind and offer kindness and peace to yourself and to anyone else who bullies. Here are Jim’s definitions. You may have some to add.

Anyone who is unkind to another person is a bully.

Anyone who points at another person who appears different and shouts or laughs at that person is a bully.

Anyone who belittles another person is a bully.

Anyone who threatens or harasses or intimidates another person is a bully.

Anyone who calls another by a derogatory name is a bully.

Anyone who physically or verbally abuses another person is a bully.

Anyone who coerces another person is a bully.

Anyone who joins with others to “mob” or “gang up” is a bully.

Anyone who tries to dominate another person is a bully.

Anyone who spreads false or malicious rumors is a bully.

Anyone who mocks another person is a bully.

Anyone who taunts another person is a bully.

Anyone who “trolls,” who purposely creates discord or starts arguments, is a bully.

Stealing, shoving, hitting, provoking and destroying another’s property are signs of a bully.

Being rude to, insulting or yelling at someone without justifiable cause is a sign of a bully.

Making fun of a person who is different is a sign of a bully.

Unprovoked yelling at someone is a sign of a bully.

Social exclusion and social aggression can be signs of a bully.

Malicious lies, rumor, innuendo, humiliation and discrediting are signs of a bully.

We all have the capacity to be a bully, but wouldn’t we be happier if we stopped the bullying and were kind to one another? Bullying is a sign of unhappiness and a lack of love.

Jim Meissner hikes everyday somewhere in the Rogue Valley. Sally McKirgan facilitates a Course In Miracles study group over Zoom, and the Inner Peace column. Email 600- to 700-word articles or inquiries to her at innerpeaceforyou@outlook.com.