Bullying is a bitch.
There are so many — too many — awful stories of young children being chided and taunted by venom-tipped words. They are sometimes physically beaten; wounds and bruises representative of the toll on their tender psyches.
Today, thanks to fearless people and not-for-profits, there is much more awareness of bullying and its consequences .
It’s all good.
Except that it’s not. Because bullying hasn’t gone away and it doesn’t end when you graduate from high school.
I guess this is a new concept for me. I was lucky to not be bullied in school and kind enough to never bully anyone else. Adults should be smart and mature enough, their brains developed and advanced enough, that bullying isn’t even an option after a certain age.
And yet, it is. Adult bullying happens in the home and in the workplace. It happens in restaurants and movie theatres… because adult friends and spouses bully each other and hurt each other.
It turns out that immaturity isn’t exclusive to children and teenagers. Turns out some so-called adults are still bitter and insecure 12-year-olds who can’t help but bully and judge others to help heal their delinquent self-esteem.
A few days ago, I witnessed adult bullying. What a sick and pathetic display.
It dawned on me that bullying often happens to people who are different. My conclusion is that it is not caused by that person’s differences: it is likely caused by an internal insecurity in the bully… but that person who is a little bit different, a little bit odd… well, they’re an easy and visible scapegoat, aren’t they?
But here’s what’s amazing: now, more than ever, that person being bullied because they’re different? Give them 20 years, maybe 10 years. Maybe 5. And they’ll rule the world.
Being different today is the new “je ne sais quoi.”
No longer is being the strange one a sentence for a lonely life with many, many cats.
Today, people who are different end up being in charge. They are the ones that come up with the ingenious ideas.
Sure, there has always been room at the top for that person who was just a little bit crazy, but was a genius.
But today, there is room for a lot of them.
Today, you can find your weird little niche on the internet, where the things that make you different and strange in the physical world around you are celebrated. The internet allows you to find the people who embrace that weird little niche in every corner of the world. Businesses and personalities are today built on the web.
It’s going to be awfully difficult for that normal, boring, cookie-cutter bully to stand out today. Watch them. They’ll grasp onto their normal, boring, cookie-cutter reputation. They’ll try to grow it. Maybe they’ll succeed.
But they won’t have as much fun as someone just a bit kooky who is comfortable being themselves.
Being normal is never going to change the world.
Are you different? Please never be normal.
Here are some links to empower you:
- Hugh MacLeod: “don’t be normal”
- Hugh MacLeod: ignore everybody
- Hugh MacLeod: not everybody’s red
- Seth Godin: Try different
- From You Are The Map Maker: Your best idea might be the one people laugh at. | Bernadette Jiwa
The world is better with your weirdness, your strangeness, your craziness and your kookiness. We don’t need any more cookie-cutters. We need you.