We live in a world where too many bullies seem to thrive. They seem to feast emotionally on those who are not able to protect themselves or who choose not to defend themselves.
The Department of Human Services for the State of Pennsylvania includes an office or service known as Childline. It provides a hotline telephone service available to children or others who have information on child abuse whether physical, psychological or other, including bullying.
There is considerable information on the issue of bullying of adults as well, particularly as it relates to bullying in the workplace.
- 45% of young people experience bullying before the age of 18.
- 36% of young people aged 8 to 22 are worried about being bullied at school, college or university.
- 38% believe their school university or college doesn’t take bullying seriously.
- More than 16,000 young people are absent from school because of bullying.
- 83% of young people say bullying has a negative impact on their self-esteem.
- 30% of young people have gone on to self-harm as a result of bullying.
- 10% of young people have attempted to commit suicide as a result of bullying.
- Those who have been bullied are more than twice as likely to have difficulty in keeping a job, or committing to saving compared to those not involved in bullying.
- People who have been bullied are at greatest risk for health problems in adulthood, over six times more likely to be diagnosed with a serious illness, smoke regularly, or develop a psychiatric disorder compared to those not involved in bullying.
Bullying is a serious problem in all types of workplaces. It happens in faith-based workplaces and even among the clergy. It happens within governmental agencies in political and non-partisan settings. And the politics seen in government can now be seen, to some extent, in every workplace where there can be competition for higher positions and higher pay. Decision-making processes are very important and are shared to insure respect, influence, and stature.
Both men and women bully, but the majority of bullying is same-gender harassment, which is mostly legal according to anti-discrimination laws and workplace policies. Women target women.
Bullying is negative and brings negative results in the areas of morale, team-building, and therefore the bottom line which is production, distribution, and profits. It is not utilized by the most successful with close members of their teams. Relationships are very important and bullying does not build positive relationships.
One of the great builders of relationships and rendering bullies ineffective is no longer with us and is sorely missed by those who oppose the concept of bullying within relationships. This gentleman who was feared by bullies was one of the most popular persons in the world. He was loved and respected more than any other. He showed others the wisdom in opposing bullying and in upholding a sense of fairness and respect. Young and old, male and female, political aspirants and persons of all races and cultures should display their continued respect for him by displaying their opposition to bullying. And the gentleman was the Honorable Muhammad Ali, “one of the greatest boxers who ever lived and, more important, the most influential athlete of all time” (Mike Coppinger, USA Today Sports, June 10, 2016).
Those who wish to be great in any field or wish to be world leaders would do well to consider the attitude of Ali. Professionally, he won 56 championship fights, lost only 5, and had 37 knock-outs. He could announce the round in which he would achieve a knock-out and achieve that goal. He put his religion and religious freedom ahead of world greatness by refusing to serve in the Vietnam War. Those who appreciate religious freedom should honor his memory for his willingness to sacrifice for such. He could not be bought or sold. He could not be bullied by the greatest human power in the world. Representing the United States of America, the Supreme Court of the United States backed down when this young man took a stand for religious freedom. Thank God for character and conscience and for Muhammad Ali’s character and conscience.