mixed messages

woolly bully reduc - September 16, 2014s
 

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

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About Michael Patton

I am a poet, novelist, essayist, cartoonist, graphic artist, peace miller, new mythologist, and fledgling world citizen.... I grew up in Northwest Arkansas and have lived and worked all over the United States.... I'm self-taught, for the most part--which is like searching for the right door in the dark. It's an on-going process.... I don't want to write MY story, I want OUR story, so that's what I'm studying: the human story: past, present, future, in its many aspects--including the spiritual. I'm proceeding at a slow crawl.... I don't see the inner world and outer world as separate. By learning about myself, I learn about others, I learn about my world.... Conversely, as I struggle to understand what I see OUT THERE, I learn about myself.... But to be clear: I don't claim any special understanding. I'm still purblind, still only half-awake.... After frustrating experience with the publisher of my first novel, I've published on my own, beginning with e-books, with plans to move into print and audio. Even video.... Along with a second novel, I've now published eight books of poetry. Each poetry book focuses on a theme. For instance, the collection GLORIOUS TEDIOUS TRANSFORMATION is about the slow difficult wonderful process of change.... In that book, as with all my work, I try to be accessible to a general audience, while also striving to achieve a certain literary quality.
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