There was a man with the large dog who would watch and wait and make the boy run indoors. Then the man would smile, chuckle to himself and walk off. Everyday, that happened. Everyday to a young boy.
Then the boy started going to school and at least he wouldn’t see the man and the dog again. But there were bigger monsters in the school. Those who were scared and unhappy and jealous – were the worst of the bullies, those were the monsters.
When he left to go to college, he thought that his days as a bully’s target were over. But people bully with words rather than their fists. People bully with humour. People bully with silence.
When he moved into his first job, he thought now I am a man, I can stand up for myself. But people bully with power and people bully with money and people bully with favours.
People bully about race and sexuality and disfigurement and illness.
And those who walk a kinder path, those who should know so much better, bully with their gods.
When he retired he thought that would be the end of it, there would be no more bullying, surely they must all be tired by now. But people bully with friendships, in the giving and taking of them. People bully with their time. People bully with loneliness. People bully with the kindest of smiles and the coldest of stares.
Bullying never sleeps.
bobby stevenson 2017