Monday, December 23, 2013

Adult Bullying: Why We Need to Shed our Animal Instincts

            Bullying is based in a power play. Such power plays are going to happen for the rest of our lives. Adults just call it office drama. Nature also shows us that predatory creatures like lions and wolves play fight to practice for the hunt. Wolves fight each other to establish who will be alpha, beta, gamma, etc. These wolves will protect their pack at all cost, but also fight viciously for rank within the wolf pack. Humans have refined their razor teeth into polished rhetoric and gossip, but make no mistake that the majority of humans are still a predatory based creature. Notice I said the majority of humans.
            The current fight is not between humans, but between the new evolution of humanity and the old predatory instincts. Humans have finally developed to a point where everyone is waking up to the fact that we need each other. We have developed weapons that can kill everyone; economic systems that can impoverish entire populations with one economic bubble bursting; and heavy machines that are polluting our earth with filthy energy (seriously, so many better options out there). This has led to a painful fact. Humans are either going to evolve and shed our predatory instincts like a winter coat, or we will all die together in a blaze of glory from climate change or World War 3.
            We have even glorified a system that harnessed our polished animalistic instincts to shocking success. We call it capitalism. Capitalism works due to the fact that it harnesses our animal instincts, but it does not work for everyone. Granted, there have been those that have evolved past this wolf pack greed such as Gandhi, Bonhaufer, and Martin Luther King. However, even these men had their weaknesses. Humans are a work in progress to say the least. However, even predatory humans are still different from animals in one key area.
            Humans are the designers of their own hell through cultural pressures, expectations, and social narratives. It never ceases to amaze me how much humans miss that fact. Is Sally in accounting really a slut, or has biology just given her a high sex drive and you're being a rude gossip? Granted, she might be making things messy with the raging hormones of her gentlemen callers, but is that really your problem or the manager's (the one responsible for keeping the office productive and professional)? Let's flip that logic on its head. Aren't the "studs" down the hall also making things messy by hitting on every secretary? To deny our basic instincts is to deny we are human, and did not God create us flaws and all? Jesus taught us how to love others past these social controls created by humans to enslave us.
            If we are a Christian nation, then why are you following the father/mother of lies and gossip into his/her hellish den. Notice I gave Satan both genders. (If feminists can have a debate about the gender of God, then we should also have a debate about the gender of Satan). Need I mention movies like basic instinct and mean girls? Both genders are equally capable of being mean. Moving on, to understand adult bullying requires looking at humanity as a whole. We have created a system of hierarchy in the modern world, and we ruthlessly punish those on the bottom of the hierarchy. We cannot change human nature. We can create a system with a different incentive motivation for our energies. Cruelty will remain in our world as long as there are incentives to backstab each other and climb the social ladder. What we keep forgetting is that the social order was created humans, which means it can be redesigned by humans. I am not saying we should all hold hands and sing Barney songs together, even our founding fathers wanted a meritocracy (meritocracy: a system were ones skills and abilities determine social rank. Even meritocracy acknowledges rank of some sort). However, have you seen how broken and corrupt our system is? Really? This is the best we can do with the wealth of America?
            We must acknowledge that high school drama is a direct reflection of adult society, because teens and young adults model themselves after the society around them and learn from the adults in that society. The first shots in the battle for the next evolution of humanity were fired in the high schools of the current generation. Our generation here and there began to realize that no one is free until we are all free to be ourselves. It is time for this evolution to carry over into the rest of society. These ideas of loving each other and working together are not new. Jesus preached this amazing message over two thousand years ago. Where do you think society got the message of love and equality? The Greeks and Romans never mentioned it in their writings of power and empire! Humans have the ability to work together, but fear keeps holding us back.
            Everyone is trying to claw their way to the top. Therefore, what happens if our kindness is perceived as weakness? This is a valid question in a world of ruthless individualism. There is no easy answer to this, which is why it must happen on a society wide scale of small victories: turning off nightly news and reading a book full wisdom, or donating to a company on kick starter. There are lots of great ideas on such websites bringing jobs back to the United States. It could be as little as shopping at a farmers market to help grow small farms instead of big agricultural corporations. These farmers spend their money locally, which pumps money into the community. Plus, you get fresher produce - everyone wins! This is going to be a long road ahead of us. The only decision the current generation of young people must make is whether we will continue to be predictors with winner take all ideology, or whether we will evolve into the next stage of human social evolution and shed our predatory instincts!  

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