Who is the real Bully?

does-anchor-s-anti-bullying-message-redefine-bully-0e829b17e5There is a word as prevalent as it is nightmarish. It haunts the hallways of schools, hides in the dark places and lays in wait for its next victim. Many children face the light of day pregnant with fear that this day will repeat the horrors they felt yesterday and the days before that. So many children are facing the morning school run with a  fear that could level a heavyweight boxer by the second round.

Bullies have the ability to rip away the innocence, the joy and the wonder that should form the basis of our children’s reality. From the subtle look over his shoulder to see if his captor will allow him to make the choice he is faced with to the blatant assault he endures at the hands of the “ones in power”.

South African media has launched a tirade of articles in recent weeks exposing the hell that many children find themselves never escaping. From social media rants, emotional barrages, group punishment to full-blown physical warfare.

I don’t profess to be an expert on the material, but this is what I have experienced:

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Rockheart!

heart-rock-toni-hopperSo it appears to have happened! I have achieved the ubiquitous experience of many modern-day human worker ants, Burnout! I say worker ants, as it seems ants appear to live a life on “repeat”. Wake up, get up, get out, get back and go down, only to repeat the cycle. Different day, same…well you get the idea.

Burnout seems to me a bit of a “cop-out”, after all, isn’t it a label for those who just can’t keep up with the pace, the ones who play a good game but choke on the finish line, those who were meant to do good, but should leave the great for those who don’t use the “B” word. I honestly struggle to hold this diagnosis with any form of seriousness, or at least I did before I found myself head in hand banging my fists against the wall, crouched on my knees screaming into nothingness while my kids ran to the next room unsure of what was happening. I struggle to think, to decide, to become motivated. I would rather be alone, separated from the crowd so I can let the tears gather in private. I’m irritable, I feel out of control. But isn’t this normal in todays working world?

The irony is, I’m a counsellor, a “fixer”, surely this is something I should have seen coming a mile away and taken action against? The truth is that I didn’t see this coming, sure I wasn’t passionate and full of joy, but the busyness consumes us and lies to us. It says that as long as I am filling my time with tasks, I am productive, as long as I am ticking boxes, I am fulfilling my purpose. The sad truth is that if we aren’t conscious of our own mental, emotional, physical and spiritual state, the good starts to overwhelm us and can become a poison that begins to feed on the great, our passions, our source of joy, and before you know it, the things that gave you a purpose, those things we know we have been called to, those very things become a drudgery, another task on life’s all-consuming “to do” list. So with hesitation in my heart, I declare I am burnt out!

Now what?

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Responsibility

his morning I heard that a prominent hotel heiress was arrested on being in possession of what seems to be cocaine. The report went on to say that there would be a punishment of rehabilitation and community service. Both laudable answers to help a person in need.

The difficulty I am having with this is the following. Had this person been a no-body, a shadow, a person merely existing and using to make it through another day, would the punishment have been the same. What if the person was ‘bad’ and sold, pushed and used, would the answer have been the same.

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Break my heart!

What a year!! This year has been one of those glorious adventures, both painful and beautiful, unforgettable and nightmarish. One of the most amazing things that I have experienced is God’s ability to take your life, your cares, your dreams, your desires and your goals and shift them by the softening of your heart. I have experienced a transition from feeling sorrow for others in my own capacity to having my heart break for the things that break His.

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The Need

“He called a little child and had him stand among them. And he said: “I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.
“And whoever welcomes a little child like this in my name welcomes me. But if anyone causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a large millstone hung around his neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea.”

Yesterday, I saw an email about 2 little children living in abject poverty. Nothing new I suppose, but my heart broke, I looked into the 3 year old girls eyes and saw my own child, I looked at her dirt covered feet and saw my own child, I saw her quivering lips and saw my own child. Her expression seemed to cry out, with a need that echoed thoughout my world, her cry was that she be loved, that she be protected, that she had a place to bury her head when afraid and know that no matter what, she was safe.

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