Saturday, May 8, 2010

The Art of War

This one has been sitting in the mental crock pot for a little while now.  I guess it has stewed long enough.

What do we lose when we walk just away from a fight, when we back down?  What do our kids lose when we tell them to just walk away from a bully?  What do they lose when they have to do it over and over and over and over again?

Now if you are wondering where I am going with this then just bear with me.  Lets take a look at Sun Tzo's Art of War.  It is an ancient book describing military strategy.  More recently it was adopted by the corporate business world on how to defeat your competitors.  Stick with me here.  In one of his teachings he talks about always giving your opponent a chance to flee.  Give chase and then let them flee again.  Keep letting them run from little battles.  Every time they run away it breaks their morale, it shakes their confidence a little bit more.  They are defeated a little bit more every single time.  It makes them easier to defeat next time.

I think that this is a concept that bullies understand.  They let their victim walk away just a little more defeated every time.  A bully knows how to escalate the situation just enough to keep the victim from doing something about it.

Every time the victim walks away without having done something they have become a little bit more defeated.  How many little defeats can a child endure before they are broken?

We need to stop this cycle of defeat.  I don't know the answers.  I do know that if those victims don't see some success - if they don't stand up somewhere, somehow then they will be broken - piece by piece - loss by loss - battle by battle.

Disclaimer - I know that bullies have needs as well and maybe if we found a way to meet those needs then they may not become bullies but that is not what I am focusing on here.

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