Boys on the Bus Grasping at Fake Power
Posted by BroadBlogs
You’ve no doubt heard about middle school boys harassing their bus monitor. Late last June four boys harassed 68-year-old Karen Klein about her weight and her family, and made violent and graphic threats.
Their punishment finally came — suspension and no more bus riding — and it’s got me thinking.
Too many of us hurt one another in desperate attempts to grab at what turns out to be fake power.
This case is classic. The boys wanted to feel bigger and more powerful by humiliating someone – in this case, someone who was supposed to have power over them – and bringing her to tears. In those moments they certainly felt big and strong. And then they bolstered their new-found muscle by posting a video of the abuse on YouTube so the world could see their supremacy.
But they weren’t truly empowered. The opposite, in fact. They ended up debased, expelled, and losing privileges.
Whether bullying, beating, raping, or killing, too many grasp at delusions of grandeur. But it’s not real. It’s not constructive. It doesn’t last. And it often backfires.
You see it time and again.
Rapists take over others’ bodies to gain a sense of power and control.
Batterers bat down the women in their lives hoping to feel like big men.
Gang members seek to gain control by beating and killing as they defend fake turf.
Feeling humiliated by the West, Al-Qaeda rose up to kill and destroy symbols of U.S. power on 9/11.
But have Al-Qaeda, gang members, batterers, rapists, or the boys on the bus gained any real power?
Looks to me like they return, over and over again, to their small selves and their depression. Or they end up in jail, dead or suspended.
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