Last year I witnessed firsthand a father teaching his son how to be a bully. Of course, I am sure this was not his intent. But most of us have heard the old saying, “The road to hell was paved with good intentions.” Bullies are detrimental to all of civilized society.
By now, a large percentage of us have heard that knowing how to bully another person is NOT something a child comes by naturally. It is not a right of passage either. Bullying behavior is something that you learn from watching another person. Usually, a member of the same household uses it to get their way. It could be from mom or dad, sister, brother, or another member of the immediate family. But it is a behavior that the child has seen somewhere.
Last year I witnessed a perfect example of a bully in training. I had pulled into a Chevron gas station on Legacy Dr. in Plano, Texas. As I was standing beside my truck, letting the pump run. A car pulled into the stall next to me. At first, there was nothing unusual about the situation, so I turned back around with my back to the car. I heard the driver get out and walk around to the car’s rear to pump the gas. All of a sudden, I heard him scream at the top of his lungs in a very menacing tone. “Get back in the car.” He was not merely talking loudly or even just shouting. I could hear him screaming so loud that people entirely across the street heard him and turned to look.
A scary situation.
He was a large man that most people would not be willing to confront. He was about 6’2’ and over two hundred pounds and seemed to have no hesitation in becoming violent. The tattoos up and down both arms just added to the image of being a real bad-ass. If you look in the dictionary under the word “Bullies,” you would find an 8 x 10 color glossy of this man.
As I was saying, I could not see who he was screaming at. But about the third time, he yelled, “I said get back in the G. D. ca r” I saw who it was that he was screaming at. It appeared to be his son, who appeared to be about ten years old. The young boy was walking away as if he were trying to get away. When the man stopped pumping gas and started around the car toward the boy, the boy turned around and started back toward the car.
Violence never helps
As the man approached the boy, he raised his right hand, indicating that he would hit the boy. I do not know if he ever did because, by this time, they were on the other side of the car and out of my line of sight. What happened next was even more shocking. I heard the boy say “F. U. rather loudly to the man. After he slammed the car door, he walked back around to the rear of the car and finished pumping the gas before he got back into the car and left in one hell of a hurry. This family is the precise definition of dysfunctional.
I was so surprised that I failed to get the license plate number on the car to turn it into the Plano Police Dept. This episode left me utterly speechless for just long enough for the car to get out of sight.
I can only imagine the abuse that the boy and his mother probably have to endure at home behind closed doors. But even worse is what that young boy is learning about dealing with people who disagree with him or do not do what he tells them to do. That isn’t very comforting, mainly when he gets older and is physically more prominent. It reminds me of the video posted on Facebook a couple of days ago about a mother of a 14-year-old girl in Florida who was arrested for bullying another twelve-year-old girl who eventually committed suicide last year.
Bullies come in all sizes, races, and genders. If you have not seen it yet, the mother of the 14-year-old female bully was videotaped while beating, punching, kicking, and cussing a nine-year-old boy. Like the sheriff said, “The apple does not fall far from the tree.” I couldn’t agree more. That little boy is headed for the same type of trouble. When you see something like this, please do not just ignore it. Take some action like calling the police. Trying to get involved personally could be very dangerous. But, please do not just ignore it. The only tried and true method of stopping bullies is your own “True” self-confidence.