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Thursday, February 21, 2013

Bullying: its not just for adolescents

I heard a story about bullying today from a few different angles/perspectives.

The story goes:

At lunch, those gathered around their unofficial self/assigned seats, were getting ready to start their meal. One guy at the table starts to pick on another table member for a minuscule reason. Something she was wearing- couldn't she or her family afford better? He knows he saw her family member driving a BMW. Apparantly there had also been condescending commentary made about her religious affiliation. As if this were 1940 Nazi Germany. Seriously?

This was going on for maybe 20-30 minutes before someone from the neighboring table gets up, marches over the to the other table and chews out the bully for his rotton behavior. Saying that his words, attitudes and behaviors were unacceptable and would not be tolerated and was ready to report this to staff. She and another few observers moved their stuff over to where the bullying victim was sitting and surrounded her with support and good conversation, keeping a watchful eye on the bully.

Aparantly this happened about a week ago and the bully has kept his distance and the "victim" is feeling supported loved and accepted by others.

I cannot tell you how proud I am of those who stood up and did the right thing. Seriously, sometimes that is all it takes to change the trajectory of gossip and attitudes and behaviors. One person to stand up and say how unacceptable such horrible behavior is. Everyone else may have been thinking it, but one person said it. And it was not merely intentions, but actions that made the difference

Oh, and where did this incident take place? Sounds like a high school or junior high lunchroom, doesn't it. Maybe even a corporation? A prison?

Nope.

A senior community. Even seniors can be bullies. And seniors can also be heroes.

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