Student Volunteers in Croatia Part II

On Bullying – By Pedro Alves

Nowadays educators, teachers and psychologists are becoming more aware of the need to address the topic of bullying in schools. Much investigation has been done and much has been written. However for a spiritualist the majority of there theories and explanations are unsatisfactory. Whether these theories are based on developmental factors, social factors, biological factors or cognitive factors seldom they approach the problem with a spiritual outlook. The way we look at an object influences the way we deal with it. Regarding people, the way we perceive others will influence our actions towards them and their subsequent reactions. If we see a bully as a hopeless bully who cannot relate and has neither discipline nor education, we will develop strategies to deal with this child accordingly. Now if we picture this same child as suffering child who grew up in a spiritually poor environment, without proper guidance nor enough care and affection, then we will come up with completely different solutions for the same problem. A child is born in ignorance and if her tutors (parents and later on primary school teacher) neglect her needs and fail to educate and nourish her physically, mentally and spiritually, we are sure to expect that this child will have some kind of problems in life.

Many people look at a bully with reprehensive eyes; however we should look with compassionate eyes. Imagine the suffering of a child who can only relate to others trough physical violence or psychic violence. When we go deep into the understanding of what makes a bully we realize that similar situations can create a bully or a victim of bullying. Fear, our most basic emotion, has two expressions. When in fear we may decide to either flea or fight. According to our individual biopsychology we will have a stronger propensity to either flea or fight. In a similar fashion the same neglecting or abusive parents, the same poor environment can either create a victim or a bully. In fact, the victim and the bully are the two extremes of a continuum. Lack of self-confidence, lack of understanding and acceptance by peers, lack of attention from the significant adults, physical or emotional abuse or neglect are all factors that can make a child become emotionally ill prepared for life. Now this ill prepared child may turn towards one extreme or the other. According to her own biopsychology this child’s mind may exhaust this internal turbulence in two different ways; it may direct it outwards by victimizing other weaker peers; or it may internalize all this unprocessed emotions inhibiting any abusive behaviour and perpetuating the child’s role has a victim.

As you think so you become. A child expresses whatever goes in her mind. If a child is feed with poor and negative psychic pabulum and if her mind is constantly immersed in a violent or spiritually degrading environment, then she will inevitably express her self accordingly. One possible approach to help such a child starts by providing such a child with a completely different and spiritually uplifting environment. Many times it happens that the behaviour of these children influences adults in different contexts to react in similar ways over and over again perpetuating this vicious cycle. By providing such children with spiritual pabulum and emotionally investing on them then we may successfully break this cycle. Good things take longer to materialize than bad things. It may seem that these children are hard has rock, however the sweetness of unconditional acceptance (which does not mean absolute tolerance) can seduce even the crudest minds.