We tell our children bullying is wrong, yet our actions belie our words.
Adults in power bully adults with little power.
Big companies bully little companies.
Powerful nations bully less powerful nations.
We tell our children how David beat Goliath….We tell them the underdog can defeat the monstrous giant if his cause is just.
I’m sure our children take some satisfaction from hearing these tales, just as I once did…
But what they see from us doesn’t match these fictions: Goliath usually wins, not David. “Might makes right” is the message we send.
Against the backdrop of adult bullying, what can we say to our children? How can we convince them not to be bullies?
I can think of one story that might help…a scene from a movie…
Star Wars II.
In the grand finale, the true Darth Vadar is revealed. Under the dark helmet, we discover a sick decayed human being.
His vitality has been a charade. His power comes, not from the spiritual force, but from the state…
In order to crush others, he had to give up his own freedom, he had to go against all true, positive inclinations of spirit…
Darth Vadar lived within the confines of a shell, the confines of a role—the role of “bully”.
Of course, we don’t tell our children all that…
We merely show them the image of Darth Vadar unmasked and say, “That’s what a bully really looks like beneath the armor.”
Yes Luke, Darth Vadar is your father…
…but that doesn’t mean you have to be like him.
© 2014, Michael R. Patton
sky rope poetry